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Churchill Dam supply to be cut

Officials have decided to reduce consumption to prevent dam failure due to extraction at the Churchill Dam
DAY ZERO LOOMS: Officials have decided to reduce consumption to prevent dam failure due to extraction at the Churchill Dam
Image: Supplied

The rain may be pouring down in Nelson Mandela Bay but the dams are still running dry.

The Churchill Dam is the latest to be seriously depleted and a decision has been made to immediately reduce consumption to prevent dam failure due to extraction.

The Bay Council's Multi-Party-Political Oversight Committee met on Thursday to receive a report from the Intervention Team appointed by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu.

The report covered a range of issues related to the current and persistent drought and water crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay, aimed at averting dry taps.

The primary focus is on addressing the unrelenting consumption trend, currently at 60ml/d over the target of 230ml/d.

Currently, the Metro is not extracting water from the Impofu Dam because the barge is being relocated. Once the barge is ready, the Impofu will begin yielding 30ml/d once again.

Over the past week, Churchill has been carrying most of Impofu's shortfall and is now also seriously depleted.

Chair of the Amatola Water Board and leader of the Intervention Team, Pam Yako, recommended to the committee that Churchill's supply be cut immediately to reduce consumption and prevent dam failure due to over extraction.

The recommendation, which was not opposed by the political parties present, will see extraction from Churchill reduced from 60ml/d to 25ml/d.

By reducing consumption, it is anticipated that the Churchill Dam will be able to last for another five days, otherwise it will run dry by Tuesday.

This will have an impact on the southern and western suburbs of Nelson Mandela Bay, including parts of New Brighton and Kwazakhele.

Residents in these areas will experience intermittent water supply as a result of the reduced extraction.

The Metro will supplement water supply in these areas with standpipe collection points, rainwater tanks, and water tankers.

Initially nine of the 24 communal water collection points will be activated to operate 24-hours a day.

These measures will come into effect on Saturday, and are expected to last for at least seven days.

In the interim, the Metro is increasing the citywide installation of water demand control systems and users are encouraged to cut their water consumption to below 50l per person per day.

More information on exact locations and availability of these augmentation supplies will be published soon on all municipal communication platforms.

Meanwhile, about 1,309 water leaks have been repaired in the last three days, out of a total backlog of 3,000.

For official updates on the water crisis, visit www.baywatersavers.co.za or WhatsApp “Water” to 064-744-7721.



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