Tshwane residents have been urged to use water sparingly due to low water levels in some critical reservoirs. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Tshwane residents have been urged to use water sparingly due to low water levels in some critical reservoirs. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Tshwane residents urged to use water sparingly amid restrictions by Rand Water

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Mar 17, 2021

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Pretoria - Tshwane residents have been urged to use water sparingly amid ongoing restrictions imposed by Rand Water despite dam levels reported to be full.

MMC for Utility Services and Regional Operation Coordination Phillip Nel said the City received a notice from the Rand Water authority that its distribution network was under severe pressure due to high demand.

"The situation has resulted in low water levels in some of the critical reservoirs in the Rand Water systems, namely the Eikenhof, Palmiet and Mapleton reservoirs. Rand Water reservoir levels continue to decline, and some reservoirs have now dropped as low as 30%," he said.

Nel, however, said the municipality has been flooded with questions from residents, who wanted to know how can there be water restrictions "if the dams that provide water to Gauteng via Rand Water are currently full".

"The answer to this is that there are two primary reasons for water restrictions to be implemented at any given time. The first reason is that the amount of water in our dams is getting low and we are concerned that they may run dry, necessitating lowering consumption until the supply of unprocessed water to the dams increases and the dams refill," he said.

While many dams were full, Nel warned against the possibility of having a water shortage because "Gauteng is a water scarce area and the water supply will always be under pressure".

He said the second reason for restricting water was that the consumption exceeded the capacity of the supply network and water treatment plants, which resulted in Rand Water’s reservoirs getting low.

"They (Rand Water) then need to limit usage to prevent the reservoirs from running out of water, which is the case in the current situation. Rand Water abstracts the water from the Vaal river scheme at various points. They purify the water to a drinking water standard and then distribute it to all the Gauteng municipalities," he said.

He said the municipalities such as Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni needed to encourage residents to use less water to maintain and stabilise the supply.

"The total usage during this warmer period is too high, and needs to be reduced until it matches Rand Water’s processing capability. The limit of Rand Water to provide water is why most municipalities in Gauteng already have water restrictions currently implemented," Nel said.

Pretoria News

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