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Bay's water strategy steers City away from 'Day Zero', but success depends on working together

Jan 29, 2018
Bay's water strategy steers City away from 'Day Zero', but success depends on working together

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality says it has put in place a number of strategies to prevent the City’s taps from running dry.

"But its success depends on every one of us using no more than 60 litres of water each per day," said Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

"Notwithstanding, the Western supply dams - Kouga, Churchill, Loerie and Impofu,  are currently at an average capacity of 26%, and continuing to drop."

He said that collectively the City is still consuming 290 million litres (ML) of water a day.

"We have to urgently bring this figure down to around 250 ML a day, to ensure that demand doesn’t exceed regular and contingency supply.

"However, to compensate for Western Supply shortages, the city is in the process of establishing and implementing programmes and facilities, to ensure water security in our City," the Mayor described.

He added that Phase 3 of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme comes online this year, after which the entire system will provide a total of 210 ML a day to the Metro.

"Given the dwindling capacity of our Western Supply Dams, the City has embarked on a Municipality-wide groundwater exploration programme. For example, high pressure and fast moving groundwater below the Coegakop Area could see a number of artesian wells established, producing approximately 30 ML of water a day.

"The Metro will also push down consumption by reducing the velocity and pressure of water moving through pipes. Additionally there will be an accelerated infrastructure maintenance and replacement operation over the next few years, starting immediately," Trollip said.

"Faulty water meters will be repaired and new meters will be installed at households where water supply has been free flow.

"Water restrictive devices will be installed at those households or businesses identified as consuming excessive amounts of water."

A desalination plant

The Mayor said that desalination is part of the Metro's long term thinking, as the technology is very expensive and will require multi-year budgeting.

"For now, the aforementioned measures will almost certainly be sufficient in the short term.

"We are also reviewing the call centre operations and reception. However, please continue to report all water leaks to 0800 20 50 50," he said.

"Please report any excessive municipal/potable water usage to the Metro Police on 041 585 1555, option 2.

"We need all hands on deck. We are facing a massive challenge, which can only be overcome if we are ALL part of the solution."

He added that the drought task team will now start meeting at least weekly, paired with weekly press conferences or statements to keep everyone informed.

"Save water. Please. Save. Water."

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