South Africans Urged to Use Water Sparingly

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has called on South Africans to use water sparingly and adhere to water restrictions imposed in some municipalities.

Water capacity at reservoirs nationally showed a slight decrease this week.

“A weekly state of the reservoirs report issued … early this week shows that the volume of water stored in the country’s reservoirs has marginally decreased by 0.2%, from 94.4% last week to 94.2% this week. During the corresponding period last year, the national water storage was recorded at 94.1%.

“Despite the stable outlook of the national water storage, the Department of Water and Sanitation still calls on all water users to be circumspect in the way they consume water. All water users are urged to use water sparingly and adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities in efforts to ensure water security in the country,” the department said.

The department said the Eastern Cape – which is facing drought in some areas – recorded a slight increase in water storage from 76.9% last week, up to 77.3% this week.

However, the DWS warned that water supply in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality remains under serious pressure.

“The Algoa Water Supply System, with five dams in the drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay area, has recorded a 0.4% decrease, plunging to 15.1% this week from 15.5% last week. The system is 3.6% lower compared to same period last year when it was at 18.7%. The Department, working with Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is implementing various intervention projects in the area to ensure that the system does not fail.

“Other water supply systems in the Eastern Cape, such as Amathole, Butterworth and Klipplaat are at a healthy state at 101.7%, 100.1% and 100.2% respectively,” the department said.

Other provinces recorded the following dam levels:

Gauteng dams are up from 101.2% last week to 101.8% this week

In the Free State, dam levels slightly declined to 101.5% from 102.5%

KwaZulu-Natal provincial water storage is at 87.6% this week from 87.1%

Mpumalanga’s dam levels remains unchanged at 97%

The Northern Cape’s dam levels reduced the most over the past week, plunging from 109.3% to some 98.6% this week

In Limpopo, the Polokwane water supply system recorded an increase to 106.6% from 104% while the Luvuvhu system slightly decreased to 100.6% this week from 100.7% last week

The North West province has seen a slight upshot from 83.5% last week to 84.8% this week.

The Western Cape province recorded a decline to 60.9% this week from 62.3% last week. The Cape Town Water Supply System with dams supplying water to Cape Town also declined to 68.9% this week from 70.1%.

Department spokesperson Wisane Mavasa said the department is working with provinces to implement interventions to secure water supply.

“We are working closely with Water Services Authorities, to assist them where they have capacity challenges, particularly with operations and maintenance of water infrastructure.

“The Department is also monitoring the use of grants it set aside to assist municipalities with water projects, to ensure that it is used for the intended purpose,” Mavasa said.

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