Parts of the Swellendam Municipality became the third area to be hit by water shortages following increased usage over the holidays. File image: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - Parts of the Swellendam Municipality became the third area to be hit by water shortages following increased usage over the holidays.

In an official notice, municipal manager Anton Groenewald said water consumption over the holiday period in Suurbrak and Barrydale had caused serious concern.

“The municipality implemented Level 1 water restrictions in Suurbrak and Barrydale in December, but is now forced to declare the areas as facing serious water shortages. Residents are required to reduce water consumption with immediate effect. Water consumption will then be monitored over the next two to four weeks, before the Swellendam Municipality takes further measures to conserve water.”

Under Level 1 restrictions, consumers may not use potable water to water their gardens or irrigate flowerbeds or vegetable gardens.

Water use for flood and sprinkler irrigation is prohibited, and the washing of vehicles, trailers, boats and pavements is only allowed using buckets of non-potable water.

The use of hosepipes is prohibited. Potable water can be used only for household purposes.

Groenewald said the weather service did not foresee any substantial rainfall in the coming weeks.

“We urge residents to take this notice seriously and regard water as a scarce resource, not only during times of drought, but at all times.

“With your help we will be able to restore our water reservoir levels and prolong our precious water resources and avoid the implementation of further stringent water-saving measures.”

On January 2, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell held a high-level meeting in Beaufort West along with high-level executives from all departments and institutions to look at the ongoing regional water crisis.

He said the department had contracted and deployed professional geohydrologists for the past 18 months in the Karoo.

“We also have a full-time professional engineer in Beaufort West. At times - like in the holiday months when these towns are inundated with tourists - these reservoirs empty faster than they get filled. The result is that there are water shortages. This is managed with water shedding and other initiatives, including providing bottled water. To date not a single community in the Western Cape has run out of drinking water.”

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Cape Argus