Hard times ahead if saving of water not stepped up – Trollip

Nelson Mandela Bay’s main water supply dam, the Kouga, stands at 10.37% of capacity
Nelson Mandela Bay’s main water supply dam, the Kouga, stands at 10.37% of capacity
Image: Werner Hills

Nelson Mandela Bay is headed for disaster if efforts to save water are not stepped up, with the dam levels reaching a combined average of 24% this week.

Residents could be saddled with further restrictions if the situation continues unabated.

Mayor Athol Trollip warned yesterday that while the Nooitgedacht Low Level Water Scheme provided additional water, not all supply sources could be supplemented from the same water system.

“With only 10.37% of recorded water supply, Kouga Dam is the most affected, while Churchill Dam languishes at 18.08%,” Trollip said.

“The other dams, Groendal and Impofu, have a recorded supply of 48.37% and 36.81%.”

Trollip said this was a clear sign of hard times ahead.

“With no prediction of meaningful rains soon, the new water levels call for a renewed sense of commitment from all metro residents, businesses and other relevant stakeholders.

“While we acknowledge the impact the municipality’s water saving awareness campaigns have had since their initial rollout, the metro continues to experience high water consumption from both domestic users and businesses.

“We wish to make a clarion call on residents to assist in preventing a drought disaster by monitoring their household consumption and further tightening their water conservation efforts.
“We also appreciate the continued vigilance from residents who are consistently reporting water leaks.

“Through their efforts, we have been able to repair 5 938 water leaks during the first three months of 2018.”

In a report to be discussed by the infrastructure and engineering portfolio committee today, executive director Walter Shaidi says the city responded to 41 170 water complaints between July 1 last year and March 31.

“Of these complaints, 35 537 were completed and 5 597 remain outstanding as a backlog.”

He writes that the municipality receives on average 150 complaints daily. The response time for dealing with complaints varies.

Burst pipes are attended to within 24 hours, while minor leaks take between 10 to 15 working days to fix.

Shaidi writes that this is exacerbated by the unavailability of resources to attend to the complaints.

“The biggest factor is the lack of sufficient maintenance teams to respond rapidly to reported complaints.

Infrastructure and engineering portfolio head Masixole Zinto said they had filled 39 out of 51 vacancies in the plumbing division.

The aim was to fill all 12 vacancies at the start of the next financial year, he said.