Thami Hlongwa the acting chief executive of Umgeni water said good water management helped to avert #DAYZERO in the Umgeni water system which affects numerous municipalities in the province. Picture: Mphathi Nxumalo

Pietermaritzburg - Municipalities are not doing enough to save water, general manager engineering services and scientific services at Umgeni Water Steve Gillham said.

Speaking at a media briefing at Bon Accorde near Albert Falls Dam, Gillham said the municipalities were supposed to be saving 15 percent on water consumption. They are currently only saving about five percent he said. 

There are a number of reasons for this he said. One of the reasons is that of fatigue from consumers who get tired of constantly having to save water. Another was that people see the rain and think that the worst is over which was not the case. 

He said Albert Falls which is the biggest dam in the Umgeni water system services about six million people in the Umgeni system which includes eThekwini, Msunduzi and iLembe municipalities among others.  For Durban Albert Falls indirectly affects two million people.

During the briefing, Thami Hlongwa acting chief executive of the water utility who was also present it was important to save water because there was also n early a day #DAYZERO in its system. 

Hlongwa said #DAYZERO was supposed to be in May in  2016. Due to foresight and quickly implementing water restrictions they were able to avoid the worst case scenario. But this did not mean that they were out of the deep end, saving water was still important he said.

Gillham added that current storage levels were at 63 percent, this 13 percent more than the same time last year. Umgeni was however targetting 70 percent by Maybthis year he said.

This could only be done by household consumers, agricultural and industrial sectors coming to the party.

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