South Africa: Nelson Mandela Dam Drops to Lowest Level in 30 Years

With a massive drop in dam levels over the December holidays, water disruptions have started in many communities around Nelson Mandela Bay.

The combined dam levels are currently sitting at 14.80 %, with just 9.37% available for use.

On Friday NMB’s biggest dam, Impofu Dam, measured an all-time low of 7.27% – the lowest it has been since its construction in 1983.

Kariega communities have been hit the hardest. The affected areas include Fairbridge Heights, Janssendal, Levyvale, Scheepershoogte, Strelitzia Park, Valleisig, Van Riebeeck Hoogte, Vanes Estate, Winterhoek park as well as some parts of the townships of Kwanobuhle and Langa.

Langa residents say the current uproar over water disruptions is nothing new to them as this has been their reality since June 2022.

“We have been without water every other day since June last year. Nobody from the municipality has ever bothered to explain to us what is going on. Our councillor always says she’ll report the issue, but it doesn’t change,” said Langa resident, Andile Hugh.

“Our only question is why were we subjected to water cuts in the earlier months if dam levels are only dropping now?”

NMB Mayor Retief Odendaal said low dam levels had strained the system, and that high-lying areas would begin experiencing water disruptions.

“The Rosedale reservoir is now low and high-lying areas in the reservoir zone are experiencing water disruptions,” he said. Langa township is supplied by the Rosedale Reservoir.

“The pumps on the barge near the intake tower will soon reach the riverbed and will need to be moved.”

“The new barge 6 km downstream near the dam wall requires electrical connections before it can be brought online. This will allow the metro to draw the last remaining dead storage from the dam.”

He urged residents to use water sparingly.

“The drought situation is real, and we need everyone to take it seriously and reduce their water consumption.”

Infrastructure and Engineering head Dries van der Westhuisen said they were trying by all means to avoid a situation where the municipality will be forced to introduce water shedding.

Pictured above: Bay Dam

Image source: Supplied


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