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Plans afoot to mitigate Eastern Cape drought as dam levels continue to drop

Nov 1, 2019
Plans afoot to mitigate Eastern Cape drought as dam levels continue to drop

Port Elizabeth - The Department of Water and Sanitation, in partnership with Eastern Cape Provincial Government and municipalities in the province, is working to solve water challenges experienced in some parts of the province, it said on Friday.

"To this end, a Joint Operation Committee is traversing the province in an effort to come with effective solutions and roll out activities to avert any possibility of taps running dry in the drought stricken areas," said Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

According to a weekly report released by the Department, the combined provincial water storage has taken a staggering decline from 64.6% at the same period last year to 50.7% this week.

"This is a sign that water conservation efforts need to be doubled up and water use efficiency needs to be a way of life," Ratau said.

"Sandile Dam is standing at 33.3% this week, compared to 34.3% last week, Gcuwa Dam does not have water and is sitting at 0.0% this week, compared to 7.0% last week, and Rooikrantz Drift also declined to 35.3% this week, compared to 37.0% last week.

"Boesmanskrantz Dam decline this week to 33.5% from 35.3%, Waterdown Dam dropped to 22.8% this week from 23.9% last week."

He said that lack of rain has affected major dams serving Nelson Mandela Metro and Sarah Baartman District. Kouga Dam dropped this week to 35.3%, from 36.3% last week, Groendal Dam declined to 41.9% this week from 43.2% last week, and Impofu Dam declined to 16.8% this week, from 17.1% last week.

"The Department is working with Amathole District Municipality drilling boreholes is some parts of the province to abstract water from the ground," Ratau added.

"Furthermore, the Department of Water and Sanitation is looking into the funding of Ngqamakhwe Regional Bulk Water Scheme in getting water from Tsomo."

During a media briefing that was convened by Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, this week, she cautioned water users that water shedding could be a reality if there are no concerted efforts to reduce water usage.

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