‘WATER SHEDDING’ FOR NEWCASTLE MUNICIPALITY
By: Neo Potwana
Newcastle Municipality has resorted to water rationing as the resource is expected to be scarce for the few months to come due to low rainfalls.
In a statement, the Municipality Mayor Afzul Rehman urged Newcastle’s water consumers to use water carefully during the spring season as they “bid for water rationing”.
“Our wish to Newcastle water customers is that they will use water sparingly, make leaks reported and fixed by the Municipality and consciously save water,” said the mayor.
The municipality has embarked on water saving awareness campaigns which they say “will benefit the whole province.”
A report by Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has shown that KwaZulu Natal has been hit by the worst draught since 1991.
“Two months is how long some residents in our province have before their taps run dry,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.
The COGTA Department said that the amount of water available has now dropped below 30 % and warned that the numbers could fall lower.
Dam water levels started to decline in October 2013 when the province received minimal rainfall for two seasons.
According to uMngeni Water’s Stake Holder Manager Shammy Hurrichunder, this draught affected the eThekwini Municipality’s Hezelmere, and iNanda Dam.
UMngeni Water, the state entity which supplies water to eThekwini Municipality, ILembe District and the South Coast including Umzinto, has also revealed that these municipalities
are still directly under threat.
“The dams have dropped significantly from the year 2013. Hezelmere dam which was at 56, 34 % in in 2014 is now sitting at 30.47%,” added Hurrichunder.
People from the Newcastle area, UMzinyathi District, Utrecht and Amajuba District area are supplied buy UThukela Water from the Ntshingwayo Dam.
“With this dam’s level currently being 68%, of particular concern is that this dam not only supplies the Newcastle area.
If early rains are not received soon and the dam level drops below 50%, the whole region will be drastically affected necessitating more severe water restrictions to be imposed,” said
Victor Basson, business assistant to the (acting) managing director of UThukela Water.
Mayor Rehman said that while Newcastle is not currently under immediate threat, the low rainfalls across the province also put Newcastle in danger of water shortages within the next