Ricochet News

'Water situation in the Eastern Cape is cause for concern'

Aug 24, 2018
'Water situation in the Eastern Cape is cause for concern'

Although the average dam levels in the Eastern Cape were, this week, recorded at 61.4%, levels in the Western part of the province remain alarmingly low.

"Kouga Dam was recorded at 6,87%, prompting the Nelson Mandela Bay to impose stringent water restrictions in the region to cope with the situation," said Department of Water & Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

"The dire water situation in the Kouga region has prompted fears of Day Zero, with towns such as Hankey and Pattensie, that depend on Kouga Dam, being left with a month’s supply of water before the natural disaster strikes.

"Consequently, the Department of Water and Sanitation is working with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Council to address the situation. In addition, the Algoa Water Supply System is decreasing its level week-on- week, as it recorded 18.2% this week."

Ratau said that the system is serving drought-stricken areas in the province, such as Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman Municipalities.

"Meanwhile; in other parts of the province – such as Mzimvubu- Tsitsikama Water Management Area – the water situation is not quite as bad.

"The main reservoir was, this week, recorded at 61.1% compared to 55.2% in the same period last year. Major dams around the province are at a critical position in this period," he added.

"The department’s report noted an improvement in the Amathole Water Supply System: with dams such as Xilinxa sitting at 47.6% this week, compared to 0.2% at this time last year; Nahoon at 72.8% this week compared to last year’s 58.1% at this time.

"Briddle Drift is standing at 64.9% this week, as compared to 42.6% in the previous year at this time. The area of Chris Hani District is affected by severe drought and its dams are at their lowest ebb."

Ratau said that the Klipplaat Water Supply Sytem, with dams servicing Queenstown and Lady Frere, has declined slightly from 70.9% this week, compared to 70.7% .

"Against the background of a looming disaster, the Department is encouraging water users in the province to use water wisely and sparingly, and adhere to the restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities."