Nelson Mandela Bay dams have less than 3% of the water left and when they dry up there will be more than 100 areas across the city.
In an address to a closed session With councilors on Tuesday, followed by a statement on Wednesday, Barry Martin, director of water and sanitation, said unless consumption could be reduced by 50 megaliters a day, this grim scenario was a certainty.
“Even with the successful expansion of Nooitthought’s treatment plants, at the current rate of consumption there is not enough water to distribute the supply to these 107 suburbs, which make up 40% of the metro,” he told councillors.
“In 38 days we will no longer be able to ship to this area which includes the western suburbs, the Uitenhage-KwaNobuhle area and suburban parts such as Greenbushes where the St Albans Correctional Services Facility, a en r largest prisons in the Eastern Cape.
“It is a very precarious situation and the elephant in the room is the basic water supply we need for sanitation.
” And then there are services like firefighting.
“It’s a very scary picture.
“We have no choice but to urgently reduce our consumption.
“Then we must get on our knees and pray.”
A recording of Martin’s presentation to the council members was leaked to The Herald.
In his presentation, Martin said, although in July 2021 the combined level of the bay’s western levees was 10.8% and now almost a year later at a similar level – at 13.2% – the subway was in a worse position.
“Although the kouga is in better shape we share the kouga with the Gamtoos farming community and we have pretty much used up our entire allotment from that dam ht.”
He said the subway would be unable to pump water out of the Impofu Dam in four to six weeks, even with the low-water barge pumps that have been in use on the dam for more than a year.
“The really low percentages are in Churchill and Impofu, the supply of which has traditionally been the lifeblood of Nelson Mandela Bay.
“So now that July 2022 is yet to come, we are in a worse position.
“We currently have a total of 2.53% of the water from our western dams that we can withdraw for human consumption.
“And that means we may urgently and drastically reduce our consumption by the end, unless there is significant rain or we drastically reduce our consumption May or early June Churchill and Impofu will run out and the 107 [areas] that rely on that supply up meet dry taps.”
Martin said, basier end on current consumption, the dams declined by an average of 0.06% per day.
In connection with this, the SA Weather Service has forecast below-average rainfall for the metro for the next four months.< /p>
An analysis of Even the past dry years gave little reason for hope.
“It shows that 1982-1994 was one of the worst periods.
“That So that’s a little over 10 years ago and we’re now entering the seventh year of the current drought that has been with us since 2015,” he said.
One good news was that the Coega Kop, St. George’s, Bushy Park, would supply an additional 30 megaliters per day, and Moregrove.
“But that won’t be until after July-August when they’re done.”
Martin said other good news was the integration of the phase three expansion project being produced by the Nooitdacht Water Treatment Works in Sunland on the northern edge of the subway now 209 ml/d.
“But our current consumption of 280 ml/d is still too high for this supply to save us.
“Once we lose the dams , our total supply is going down from 272 ml/d to just 231 ml/d from Nooit thought plus the little water we get from the old sand and bulk dams, the Kariega spring and the water Groendal Dam.
“If we don’t conserve water in the area north of the Stanford Road pumping station, we won’t have to divert water to our southern and western areas that rely on the main storage dams, even after the KwaNobuhle pumping station is completed.”
He said that if the water saving scenario could be achieved, it could be the salvation of the subway.
“If we can reduce our consumption by that amount, and once we have the KwaNobuhle pumping station.” By mid or late June we can have water from Nooitthought through the Chelsea Reservoir and Pumps tation KwaNobuhle and in this way distribute parts of the subway to the south and west.
“But we are currently using 275 ml/d. In April we were at 290 ml/d.
“We need to get below 230 ml/d.”
He said water separation was not an option as that would be the consequence with lopsided supply of high and low areas when valves were closed.
It would also affect the water quality as the speed of the water flowing through the pipes changes and sediments are dissolved.< p>It would also put pressure on the subway’s already weak and congested water network.
More pipes would burst and more water would be wasted than saved.
said Martin The best strategy was to use water tank trucks and install water collection points.
His team would continue to push this strategy should the dams fail.
But he said these interventions with everyone the security, cost and organizational challenges they would trigger could still be avoided.
“ We must consume a maximum of 50L per person per day and no more than 6ml per month for an average four-person household.
“Th This will drastically reduce our consumption, but only if everyone does their part contributing to that.”
Following Tuesday’s presentation, Martin’s team contacted the Nelson Mandela Bay Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
On Thursday , Mayor Eugene Johnson will speak at 6:00 p.m Host a multi-platform public information event.
Despatch Town Hall, Uitenhage Town Hall, Gelvandale Community House, Kuyga Community House, Linton Grange Library, City Hall Council Chamber and Nangoza Jebe Hall open for the public to watch this session live.
It will also be accessible on the community Facebook and YouTube sites and on Mpuma Kapa TV on channel 260 on DStv.
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