North Coast taps could run dry in about 100 days
THE Hazelmere Dam, which supplies water to the north Coast, is now at 43% capacity and the situation is critical.
This was announced at a media conference held by iLembe District Municipality, bulk water provider Umgeni Water and Dolphin Coast service provider Sembcorp Siza Water at iLembe House in KwaDukuza on Monday.
Speaking at the briefing, Mayor of iLembe District Municipality Cllr Welcome Mdabe first highlighted how dire the situation continues to be for Dolphin Coast areas such as Ballito, Zimbali, Salt Rock, Shakaaskraal including Nkobongo and Shayamoya, eTete, Sheffield Beach, Chaka’s Rock and Shakashead. All these areas are provided water by Siza Water through the Hazelmere Dam and are currently experiencing water restrictions.
According to Corporate Stakeholder of Umgeni Water Shami Harichunder there has been no improvement on water production in Hazelmere Dam – which also supplies water to the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
“Hazelmere Dam is currently on 43% level. The little rain we have experienced has not been sufficient and has made no significant change. The truth is if we don’t save water now, the next three months are critical in that we start saving. If we don’t start saving and we don’t get enough rain, roughly 100 days from now there will be no water,” said Harichunder.
Sembcorp Siza Water reported that about 30 fines for non-compliance with restrictions have been issued, and the water situation is being carefully monitored.
“We may have to implement stage four water restrictions in the festive season at very short notice. We advise customers to register with us to receive updates,” said a representative.
The eThekwini Metro Municipality shares the Hazelmere Dam as a water source with iLembe District Municipality. Mdabe – who is also the Chairperson of SALGA KZN – said eThekwini has started implementing water restrictions for areas in the North of the Durban including Tongaat, Westbrook, Waterloo and Verulam.
“The Inanda Dam has also been augmented to use water tankers to fill up reservoirs to deliver water but this too comes with its own challenges,” said Mayor Mdabe.
Mdabe also reported back on how the drought is affecting Ndwedwe, Maphumulo and Mandeni areas.
“There has been minimal improvement in Maphumulo with the Mvotshane River now currently being augmented through the Hlimbithwe River. This has seen reduction in distances travelled by our water tankers,” he said.
Mdabe said no improvement has been in Mandeni’s uThukela River which supplies water to Sundumbili, some parts of KwaDukuza and some parts of Ntunjambili in Maphumulo.
“We are still providing water tankers in areas such as San Soussi, Doringkop and others and we fill up the reservoir every evening for Ntunjambili Hospital,” he said.
Ndwedwe on the other hand – which gets 70% of its water through the Hazelmere Dam – is also augmented through water tankers.
“The tankers get water from the Nsuzi River and eTete which is a huge distance of about 150km. The turnaround time is again a challenge here,” he said.
Due to his chairing of SALGA, Mayor Mdabe was also able to report back on the drought in the province as a whole. He revealed that SALGA was in the process of assisting water services authorities with regard to sea desalination.
“All districts will report to cabinet in February 2015 on two master plans – water de-silting and a desalination proposal. All districts are working around the clock,” he said.
Authorities are also waiting for disaster relief from the Department of Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the National Treasury. He said that R293 million had been set aside by cabinet for disaster relief and the iLembe District Municipality’s share is to the tune of R70 million.
“iLembe is still waiting for this. We are still using our own resources at the moment,” he said.
A briefing will be held in the second week of December 2014 with a detailed plan on how the municipality will augment supply due to the influx of festive season visitors.
– MyBallito Correspondent
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