October 15, 2013
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) requested residents to use less water to protect water supply in the dams over a longer period.
This call comes after the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) carried out an annual modelling of the water resources of the region that is based on the outcomes of the Algoa Water Resources Reconciliation Study and regulates the rate of withdrawal from the various supply dams supplying water to the NMBM.
Portfolio Committee Chairperson for Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy, Cllr Andile Mfunda, said even though dam levels are at 84% the stark reality is that the volume of water stored in our dams will be depleted within 18 months if current consumption patterns persist and no significant inflow of water into our dams occurs.
“The Department’s model predicts that Nelson Mandela Bay will be in a water crisis by 2015 and that we need to start curbing consumption immediately. The DWA has already restricted the water supply to the municipality with 10% of its water allocation, effective from 1 July 2013. This, a mere two years after the terrible drought situation suffered in the region in 2011,” he added.
Water consumption will be monitored closely and the municipality may have to introduce water restrictions to further curb consumption if this appeal to reduce water usage fails. The NMBM calls all citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay in the spirit of Ubuntu to hold hands and ask that everyone conserves water and use it efficiently.
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Benson Fihla said at a press conference today that the municipality has a broad spectrum of communication platforms with which it communicates with local communities.
“We will certainly use it to the fullest extent to secure the cooperation of our communities in our water conservation efforts.
“I also wish to make a direct appeal to our residents and communities for their cooperation in saving water now, so that we can divert a water shortage crisis later. We need to see the same wonderful spirit that was evident during the drought in the region in 2011, when residents gave their full cooperation, and succeeded in reducing their water consumption to acceptable levels, given the situation that prevailed,” he added.
Projects embarked on since the last drought:
- The first phase of the Nooitgedagt Coega Low Level Scheme (NCLLS) was completed at a cost of R450 million. The work comprised of 40 km of pipeline from the Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works to Motherwell as well as a
10 Ml reservoir at Olifantskop near Coega.
- The construction of the new Stanford Road pump station is nearing completion. This will enable the transfer of water from the NCLLS to the south western side of the Metro and supply areas that are normally supplied by the Churchill and Impofu Dams.
- The Metro has embarked on an aggressive leak detection programme which has resulted in a reduction of water losses.
- Community based semi – skilled artisan are used to repair leaks at indigent households.
- The Metro facilitated plumbing repairs at 20 schools thereby preventing significant water wastage. Additional funding for this project is required.
- Exploratory work on ground water has been done and drilling will commence soon at selected sites in the Uitenhage/ Coega area.
- The site selection for a sea water desalination plant has been completed and an 18 months sea water monitoring programme is underway in order to collect data to be used during the design phase.
Planning of future projects:
- The design work for the second phase of the NCLLS is complete and tenders will be called for during September 2013. This phase should be completed in December 2015 at a cost of R 90 million rand.
- The final phase of the NCLLS will cost R 182 million rand.
- The Algoa Water Resources Reconciliation Study has identified future water source such as the re-use of effluent (for industrial use) and the re-use of the Sunday River Irrigation water return flow. Preliminary studies have been done on these projects as well as the desalination of sea water.
The present consumption is 270 Ml/day and could well exceed 300 Ml/day during the summer months. In order to preserve our resources we need to reduce our consumption to 250 Ml/day as was done during the previous drought.
Issued on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (041 506 1500 / 082 780 2726 / firstname.lastname@example.org / @kupidobaron).
Contact Water Rhapsody for assistance.