Residents grow jubilant every time there is even the slightest bit of rain but, welcome as every drop is, the Bay’s water situation remains dire.
The next phase of punitive tariffs – Part C – will be implemented in the coming week if the combined dam levels drop to 40% by then, as some expect will be the case despite this weekend’s promising forecast.
If Part C is implemented then residents will be paying more for their water regardless of how much they have used. It is extremely worrying that the Churchill Dam – which supplies a third of the metro’s water – is estimated only to have about 20 days’ water left. And, while the overall dam levels are at 43.1%, it is important to note – as mayor Athol Trollip pointed out this week – that the last 10% in each is effectively unusable.
This means we have just 33% potable water left, or only enough for about 12 months.
Trollip has rightly labeled the situation a crisis, and we are at a point now where every resident, institution and business must do their utmost to save as much of the precious resource as possible. Even if you are already actively saving water there is always more you can do.
Stop talking about installing that rainwater tank or acquiring a pool cover to slow down evaporation – get it done. And if two showers a day is more habit than genuine necessity then it is time to cut back for everyone’s sake.
If you’ve ignored the appeals up to now then your number will soon be up: the metro is busy procuring water flow restricting devices to be installed at schools and the homes of high water users by next month.
The municipality has unfortunately inherited aged and ailing infrastructure which means leaks are still springing up at a troubling rate. The city is also hampered by a shortage of plumbers with the correct qualifications.
Residents are actively reporting cases of leaks and burst pipes, including to this newspaper, and it seems the turnaround times for some of these repairs could also still be improved.