Ricochet News

Water situation critical: Technically Nelson Mandela Bay dams at 33.5% full Trollip reveals

Apr 12, 2017
Water situation critical: Technically Nelson Mandela Bay dams at 33.5% full Trollip reveals

As of Wednesday, the total average levels in the five dams that supply the Nelson Mandela Bay as well as the Kouga Local Municipality area have dropped to 43.5%, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, revealed at a media briefing.

"With the last 10% (dead storage) of dam`s water mostly not useable, dam levels are effectively 33.5% of useable water with approximately 12 month of useable water left at current consumption levels," he warned.

"Consumption over the past month was an average of 293 Ml/day of the collective usage target of 250 Ml/day."

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Kouga Local Municipality introduced water restrictions late last year to try and address water wastage by residents and businesses.

While Trollip thanked local consumers, whom he said continue to find innovative ways to save water, he said that the Metro was also challenging everyone to see if "we can get much closer to the usage target of 250 Ml/day".

"As our dam levels continue to drop we are required to enforce drastic measures to ensure that we prolong the little supply we have.

"If we do not receive meaningful rain in the next few weeks, we project that the total dam storage will be less than 40% by beginning of May 2017," the Mayor said.

In the event that such happens the following measures and recommendations will be implemented:

  • The Municipality will introduce Part C of the approved Tariff Schedule for water for all residential and institutional consumers;
  • The Municipality will introduce Part B of the approved Tariff Schedule for water for Commercial and Industrial consumers;
  • All domestic customers using more than 40 Kl/m of water be given a two week notice to fix leaks or reduce water consumption, failing which a water flow meter restrictor device be installed to limit the usage;
  • All current and future borehole users as well as drilling contractors must in terms of the NMBM Water & Sanitation By Law (Clause 83) register at the NMBM (Infrastructure & Engineering Directorate: Water & Sanitation - Water Distribution);
  • Apart from concrete activities, contractors to use recycled water from Fishwater Flats or any other approved wastewater treatment works where disposal facilities exist; and
  • Borehole water from the trial holes must be made available free of charge for non-potable use at the Motherwell Cemetery under strict access conditions.

Trollip said that the volume per user will be as directed by the Executive Director: Infrastructure & Engineering.

He said that the Municipality is currently implementing various emergency schemes and interventions to mitigate the consequences of water shortage.

These schemes and interventions are as follows:

  • Emergency schemes,
  • Making available non- potable water to the public at no cost, this to offset potable water consumption,
  • Promoting use and making available return effluent water from all waste water treatment plants,
  • Making available untreated ground water at Coega Kop. This water will be collected at Motherwell cemetery,
  • Acceralating the completion of Nooitgedacht Phase 2 to increase the treatment capacity of the plant and bring additional 40Ml of water to the system by July 2017,
  • Increase treated unfiltered water from Nooitgedacht plant by 15 Ml,
  • Planning and completion of feasibility studies for desalination of sea water, and
  • Procurement and construction of a temporary water treatment plant for ground water aquifers in Coega Kop and associated infrastructure.


The Metro has also been busy with human capital resourcing - staff recruitments:

  • 7 Plumbers have been employed;
  • 1 Senior Superintendent;
  • 2 Superintendent; and 
  • 6 Installation inspectors.

Trollip said that the municipality has also been maximising efficiency and production by working overtime and weekends to fix leaks and address complaints backlogs.

He added that they are also source external capacity to augment internal capacity of which tri-annual contractors have been procured to assist in leak detection and fixing thereof.

The Metro is also intensifying the Assistance To The Poor (ATTP) programme. This programme is responsible for the fixing of internal leaks on indigent households.

Notices have also been served to schools with high consumption and it will be installing water demand management devices to schools to stop water abuse.

The Mayor said that the municipality has also completed the training of Peace Officers to start with issuing of fines and enforcing Water & Sanitation bylaw.

Various water conservation and water demand initiatives, are also on the cards - these are:

  • Pressure management;
  • Education and awareness;
  • Installation of zone meters;
  • Leak detection;
  • Pipe replacement programme; and
  • Meter replacement programme ( Domestic & Industrial).

"The NMBM is committed to work with all stakeholders to mitigate the impact of water shortage," Trollip said.

"We require active participation of all our consumers to ensure sustainability of water in the City."