THE DROUGHT CONTINUES… AND OUR DAM LEVELS ARE DROPPING ….
The 2018 – 2019 drought in South Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay continues. The one or two bouts of rain we did receive over recent months largely skipped our catchment areas - and made virtually no impact on our dam levels.
On average, our supply dams are only 37.02% full. Of particular concern is the low level of the critically important Impofu Dam.
The Municipality wishes to thank the many residents who have responded to the call and found innovative ways of saving water. How great your response was, is clearly evident from the stats: two years ago (before the drought) the consumption of the city was a whopping 345 megalitres per day. Thanks to your efforts, and the Municipality’s water management plan, consumption was cut by about 73 megalitres to 272 megalitres a day last month (September).
We appeal to every resident to refocus and try to save every drop in order to stretch our existing water supply until the heavens open and abundant rains fall again. And that is not predicted to happen soon: the South African Weather Services recently reported that below normal rainfall and above-average temperatures are expected for the Eastern Cape area during the next three months. This will add pressure to our already stressed system.
Our dams levels are dropping, and summer is upon us. As the temperatures rise, residents start to use more water. The Municipality therefore has no option but to enforce drastic measures. Here is the challenge: we need to cut our daily consumption as a city to 250 megalitres a day (we currently use 272 megalitres a day). To bring this home: each person in your household needs to consume less than 50 litres of water a day; OR every household must use less than 15 kilolitres of water per month.
Reaching this will not be easy, but it can be done! Please study our water saving tips elsewhere on this page, and talk to your neighbours and family members to share water saving ideas. Please think twice when your reach for the tap!
Thank you for your continued efforts and for helping us save the Bay!
WATER RESTRICTIONS IN FORCE
Note that the following water restrictions, introduced in September 2018, remain in force:
· Disc/Flow restrictors are installed on the properties of high water consumers, as identified by the Municipality.
· Hosepipes may not be used at all (to water gardens, wash cars, hose down walls or paving, top up pools, fountains or ponds, etc.), unless the water is from a source other than municipal (e.g. a borehole) or the water is used for firefighting purposes.
· The municipal water supply may not be used to water gardens, wash cars, hose down walls or paving, top up pools, fountains or ponds, etc.
· Sprinklers or irrigation systems may not be used, unless the water is from a source other than municipal.
· All building contractors are required to use treated effluent, collected from the Fishwater Flats Wastewater Works along John Tallant Drive (or any other appropriate wastewater treatment works), other than for concrete work.
· All current and future borehole users and drilling contractors must register with the Municipality and comply with the conditions attached to such registration (e.g. you may not sell or transfer your own borehole water for use on other properties).
· Only non-municipal water may be used to fill or top up swimming pools.
· The use of automatic urinal flushing systems is prohibited.
· All local car washes are required to recycle 60% of their water.
· Each person in a household needs to consume less than 50 litres of water a day; OR every household must use less than 15 kilolitres of water per month.
The Municipality has also imposed restrictions on itself regarding water usage at its own facilities:
· It has switched off water supply to municipal showers around recreational facilities.
· Municipal swimming pools are being filled with suitable ground water.
· Municipal parks are being water with non-municipal water, e.g. borehole water.
WHAT HAS THE MUNICIPALITY DONE ABOUT THE WATER SITUATION?
The Municipality has implemented a number of emergency schemes and interventions to mitigate the consequences of the water shortage. Here are some of them:
1. Emergency schemes
· Making available non-potable water to the public at no cost, to offset potable water consumption.
· Promoting use and making available return effluent water from all waste water treatment plants
· Making available untreated ground water at Coega Kop (this water will be collected at the Motherwell Cemetery).
· Using additional clarified and chlorinated unfiltered water from the Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works to increase the Municipality’s total treatment capacity by 30 megalitres per day.
· Planning and completing feasibility studies for the desalination of sea water.
· Fast tracking the construction of the new Coega Kop Water Treatment Works and Well Field ground water from the artesian aquifers in the area surrounding Coega Kop.
Human capital resourcing, i.e. staff recruitment comprised the appointment of 13 plumbers, as well as 1 Senior Superintendent, 2 Superintendents and 6 Installation Inspectors.
3. Other interventions:
· Sourcing external capacity to augment internal capacity – Contractors were procured to assist in leak detection and fixing.
· Intensification of the Assistance To The Poor (ATTP) Programme – This programme inter alia ensures that internal leaks in indigent local households are fixed.
· Serving notices to schools that consistently record high consumption.
· Installing water demand management devices at schools to stop water abuse.
· Training Peace Officers authorised to issue fines to water abusers and enforce the NMBM Water & Sanitation Bylaw.
· A 10-year business plan was developed and approved by Council to deal with the major problem of non-revenue water, as well as bulk water supply and meters; remote meter reading; pressure management and billing management; water and sanitation tariffs; leak repairs; operations and maintenance; domestic meter audits; valve and hydrant audits; water meter replacement; reservoir rehabilitation; and community awareness.
We urge all our stakeholders to be vigilant in the protection of our water infrastructure, as water disruptions are occurring as a result of theft and vandalism at reservoirs and pump installations.
We thank all our residents and stakeholders for working with us to mitigate the impact of the water shortage. We require the active participation of each and every resident to ensure water sustainability in our City.
Please take up the challenge of bringing our consumption down to 250 megalitres a day. We can do it!