Warning that storage dams will be depleted within 18 months

OCTOBER 13, 2014

Water and Sanitation Director Barry Martin has warned that the volume of water stored in the metro’s dams “will be depleted within 18 months if the current consumption patterns persist and no significant inflow into the dams occurs over this period”.

In a report to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Committee, Martin points out that present consumption is 270 megalitres a day.

This, he warns, “could once again exceed 300Ml/day during the summer months.

“In order to preserve our resources we need to reduce our consumption to 250Ml/day as was done during the previous drought.”

Martin says that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) carried out system modelling on an annual basis of the water resources of the region.

He adds that during the last analysis for the 2014/15 water year it became evident that the metro had been “over-abstracting the water resources during the previous water year”.

Martins says this can be attributed to an increase in water usage as a result of improved services to the poor, but also to the fact that “good water conservation habits” learned during the last drought have been forgotten.

He says the fact that the dams are 77% full is “misleading”.

This, he explains is “because there is not sufficient water to sustain us over the next 12-14 months,” adding that the SA Weather Service predicts that reduced rainfall will be experienced over the next five months. - metrominutes