PORT ELIZABETH - The township of KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape is at risk of running out of water.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip on Wednesday warned that residents would feel the pinch in their pockets after the combined capacity of the metro's dam levels declined to 19,27%.
"Water is about to become more expensive for everyone in the city," Trollip announced at an urgent media briefing.
Trollip said that with the drought the Eastern Cape was facing, the city was facing a critical time, with the Kouga Dam currently severely compromised at only around 7% of capacity.
With water restrictions and the low level of the Kouga Dam, and limited extraction at Loerie Dam, the area of KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage is now at a real risk of running out of water.
Residents in the city are currently restricted to using 50 litres of water per day but Trollip said that if dam levels dropped to 15%, residents would be asked to use even less.
According to Water and Sanitation Director Barry Martin, water restriction measures had a positive effect on the dire water situation.
However, the overall consumption had still not dropped to the desired target. During the last water year, a daily consumption of below 230 megalitres per day was needed to reach the targeted restricted allocation.
Martin said the limit had now been reduced to below 220 megalitres in order to reach the target for the year.
"There is however a 60 percent water restriction from the Kouga Dam which means the extraction from Loerie [Dam] is limited and that the area of KwaNobuhle is at risk of running out of water," said Martin.
However, Trollip said that thanks to the Nooitgedacht water scheme, the city would not see a day zero by running out of water.
Trollip said that a meeting with Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti held earlier this week, Nkwiniti indicated that the completion of phase three of the Nooitgedacht scheme was a priority.
"The minister identified that this region of the Eastern Cape is in a crisis. One mayor after the other spoke and it became clear that we were all inextricably linked to this crisis. It's not just Nelson Mandela Bay that is affected, it affects neighbouring municipalities drastically," he said.
According to the metro, the construction of the Nooitgedacht Low Level Scheme Phase three has been delayed for the period up to March next year as a result of reduced budget availability.
Phase three is being implemented by Amatola Water with direct funding from the national Department of Water and Sanitation.
Trollip, meanwhile, announced several restrictive measures to be implemented in the city. These include that residential, institutional and government users in the Metro will now be subject to Part C of the Schedule of water Tariffs.
Commercial and industrial users will also be subject to Part C of the tariff schedule, with Trollip adding that water and sanitation by-laws would be enforced.
African News Agency (ANA)