Get water supply figure right

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A PICTURE speaks a thousand words! Attached is a photo showing yet another municipal official is fast asleep on the job.

This one’s duty is to inform residents of Port Elizabeth just how much water supply we have left. It is based at the Linton Grange waterworks on Cape Road, adjacent to six lanes of heavy traffic.

The idea, of course, is for responsible citizens progressively to limit their water consumption as the advertised dam levels drop.

This curious official is quite adamant that we have 86% water supply available. Our local press, on the other hand, claims that things are dramatically more serious than that (“Bay residents warned to cut back on water consumption”, August 14).

I choose to believe the press, and I’ll tell you why.

First, this overpaid official claims that we have had precisely 86% water availability for the past six months. No, not 83%, nor 88, but invariably and exactly 86%, every month, for half a year – I don’t think so.

Second, this figure arose some six months ago when I phoned the Linton Grange waterworks asking staff to query the 93% previously advertised for months on end. They apologised, promised to wake up Sleepy and since then Sleepy has, well, slept on.

Apparently, changing the reading exhausted him.

The tragedy is that, to this day, the public is informed by Sleepy that there is plenty of water available. “Wash your cars, chaps, and water those lawns. You’ve got lots of water.”

So the public sees no reason to go slow. Why should they, when a highly paid signboard (with perks, no doubt) proclaims that the dams are all but full?

Is our municipality serious? Sleepy is covered with slogans like “Don’t be a drip. Save every drop. We are a water-scarce community”.

It’s part of his job description and for which he demands double-digit pay increases. Yet, with water shortages looming, he encourages us to use the amount of water commensurate with full dams.

May I suggest that, provided Sleepy is not unionised, somebody kicks his spine through the top of his head. Or, in plain language, please demolish this signboard – it is causing serious water trouble for PE.

Leon Marshall, Westering, Port Elizabeth

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