Ricochet News

Rain and snow has minimal effect on George dam levels, water restrictions to stay

Aug 22, 2017
Rain and snow has minimal effect on George dam levels, water restrictions to stay

The George Municipality on Tuesday urged citizens to continue saving water despite wide spread rain and snow having fallen in the city and region over the past week, and predictions of more rain to come.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, said while the town was grateful for every drop that fell, a few days’ rain would have minimal effect on the level of the Garden Route Dam and water restrictions would stay.

“The road towards water restriction-free conditions is very long, and the drought far from broken. In fact, we ask all citizens to make water-saving a permanent lifestyle – our town is growing and water usage will be impacted no matter how many measures we put in place. If we all want to keep living here, we must all work towards the town’s water security.”

The municipality recorded 38mm rain since  it started raining on Wednesday (16 August), when the dam was 42.02% full. The latest dam level reading, this morning (21 August 2017) is 42,9%.

Botha said locals were still using too much water, with average consumption in August at 27 megalitres per day, a minimal reduction from 28 megalitres in July and 30 Megalitres in May and June.

“At the current dam level, we would have to reduce to at least 23 megalitres per day just to make it for the next six months – so, the more we save, the longer it will last.”

He explained the municipality’s Drought Management Plan and water restrictions were directly linked to the dam level, George’s main water source, and the town’s overall water security.

“Should the dam level rise to above 45%, emergency tariffs will remain in place for at least two months, provided the conditions consistently remain above the Section 2C requirements and the town’s immediate water security remains satisfactory.

“Even if the Section 2C tariffs are lifted, Section 2B restrictions will be applicable up to the 60% dam level mark, again for at least two months. Other considerations include the potential impact of the summer holiday season on water usage,” said Botha.

Emergency tariffs and tougher water restrictions came into effect on 2 August 2017 when the Garden Route Dam dropped to below45%. The new Section 2C restrictions limit household consumption to 15 kilolitres per month or 480 litres per day.

The implications of the current Section 2C restrictions include:

  • Households shall be limited to 15 kilolitres per month (flow reducing devices will be installed where limits are exceeded). Emergency tariffs will apply if users exceed the 15 kilolitre limit.
  • Other users, businesses and entertainment industries must reduce consumption by 15% of their average use over the previous six months. This includes commercial car washes and other businesses dependent on municipal water. Emergency tariffs apply as well as the possibility of a fine if overall consumption is not reduced by 15%.
  • Large industries must reduce consumption by 10% of their average use over the previous six months. Emergency tariffs apply as well as the possibility of a fine if overall consumption is not reduced by 10%.
  • Gardens may only be watered using watering cans or buckets, any time of the day.
  • The irrigation/watering of ALL sportsfields using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Washing of vehicles with a garden hose with municipal water is prohibited. Buckets are allowed.
  • Cleaning of any outside surface area using a water hose with municipal water is prohibited.
  • Filling up of swimming pools with municipal water is prohibited.
  • Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used ‘OWN WATER’ signage must be displayed, and officials may ask for proof of own water.
  • Emergency tariffs for other users (such as schools, old age homes etc) shall be 1.5 times more as per their specific published tariff as per the annual municipal tariffs list.

Please report water leaks, burst pipes and other water-related concerns to our Civil Engineering Department, at  044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.

Contraventions of water restrictions can be reported on 044 801 6350. Repeat offenders can expect to pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.