Ricochet News

Water update: Churchill Dam has about 20 days of water left

APRIL 18, 2017
Water update: Churchill Dam has about 20 days of water left

Churchill Dam, one of the major reservoirs supplying both the Nelson Mandela Bay area and the Kouga Local Municipality, has roughly 20 days of water left, the Metro said in an update on the water situation on Tuesday.

The average water level in the five dams is just at 42.17%. However, last week, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said that the last 10% (dead storage) of dam`s water mostly not useable - hence, technically speaking, the dams have effectively falen to 32% full.

According to the figures released, the biggest drop has been witnessed at the Churchill Dam, which now stands at a low 17.68% full. Last week, the dam was 19.06% full.

If we do not receive meaningful rain in the next few weeks, the Metro has projected that the total dam storage will be less than 40% by the beginning of May 2017

Below is the latest figures;

Dam and  Current Capacity

  • Kouga dam: 26.08%
  • Churchill dam: 17.68%
  • Impofu dam: 68.01%
  • Loerie dam: 34.60%
  • Groendal dam: 57.56%
  • Average all: 42.17%

Last week, the Mayor warned that the Metro would take drastic measures to lower water usage.

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

In the event that water levels drop below 40%, 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.