Gotcha! Pool story an April Fools joke

Weekend Post readers flooded social media with messages of outrage and amusement on Saturday, following The Herald sister paper’s April Fools report, “Bay to seize residents’ pool water in desperate plan”.

The report, attributed to Robin Oesdraai, claimed that the municipality would be siphoning water from residential and municipal pools to establish a water bank.

Tongue firmly in cheek, the story noted that the water would be rationed and trucked to wards across the Bay while the municipality would then drastically reduce water supply directly to homes.

Fictitious municipal spokeswoman “Dory Rivers” confirmed the plans.

The report had already garnered 262 reactions, 124 shares and 103 comments on Facebook yesterday afternoon.

Ruth Swettenham posted: “Got me until I saw the name Dory Rivers, very clever!” Danny Eldridge thought it was a good idea: “April Fool or not, I have no problem with that as long as the water taken is paid for.”

Hannelie Niemandt posted: “Nice – I have used my dirty/bath water in my pool!”

Some readers took a swipe at President Jacob Zuma and the national government.

Sivuyile Sam asked: “Zuma, why don’t [you] clean the ocean water to make drinkable water?”

Haydene Miller suggested that Zuma use his “fire pool” to fill the dams.

Patrick Masfin Smith agreed: “Seize it from Zuma’s fire pool, the public paid for it.”

The combined average for Nelson Mandela Bay dam levels was 44.52% on Thursday.



Bay to seize residents’ pool water in desperate plan

In a drastic – and desperate – attempt to address water shortages in Nelson Mandela Bay, the municipality is going after residents’ pool water.

It is also considering emptying out all its own pools to establish a water bank.

This comes in the wake of reports earlier this week that the municipality had started a process to declare the metro a water disaster area after the Department of Water and Sanitation rapped municipal officials over the knuckles for not drastically reducing water wastage in the Bay.

The level of dams supplying water to the Bay has dropped to a combined 44.52%.

The idea of a water bank – first mooted when an international water expert met with municipal officials earlier this year – is to save water, which will be rationed and trucked to wards around the Bay once supply reaches a “critical” level.

The municipality will then drastically reduce water supply directly to homes. Several sources who wished to remain anonymous confirmed the proposal would be passed later this month.

“The municipality has a list of all privately- owned swimming pools in the Bay and will work according to that list.

“A schedule has been drawn up and every week the municipality will empty the pools of up to 20 homes, ward by ward.”

The source said portable pools would not be exempt. Asked about the water bank, another source said the location would not be revealed as a safety precaution.

“Water has become very precious in the last few months and there’s a concern the public might loot the water bank. We’ve already seen cases of people ‘stealing’ water. ”

One resident said he felt he was being penalised even though he had done his bit to save water.

“How can the municipality do this? I’ve heeded the warnings about saving water and I haven’t topped up my pool since restrictions were introduced but what about the money I had already spent topping up the pool?

Will I be reimbursed?” Municipal spokeswoman Dory Rivers would not go into detail but confirmed there had been talks about a water bank.

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