By Nienke Botha and Jacqueline Holloway
Despite the good rains that Makhanda received earlier this month, not enough rain fell in the catchment to fill supply dams in the west, the region is still in a state of drought and the water crisis is still very much present.
In his letter to residents this week, the Mayor explains that the municipality can’t supply water to all areas at all times, especially the high lying areas, because the Waainek Water Treatment Works cannot be used for water supply to the west. Howieson’s Poort Dam is at 1% and Settlers Dam at 3%. The boreholes produce 0.5 megalitres a day and this yield is fast diminishing, the Mayor says.
This means the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works is now supplying water to the whole of Makhanda at the rate of 12 megalitres a day; however, water usage in the town remains higher than 12ML a day.
The current water restrictions include:
* 25 litres per person per day;
* No using hosepipes and watering gardens, unless you are using water that is not from a municipal source.
According to a local real estate agent, “ Most of our properties with pools had to be closed off because it can’t be filled unless they have rain water tanks.” Local real estate agencies do their best to ensure that students are aware of the ongoing water crisis. They also actively encourage landlords to install rain water tanks at the properties which they rent out.
Other tips which students and other residents can implement to save water include:
- Shower standing in a tub so you can collect water for flushing toilets and doing washing;
- Limit showers to two minutes;
- Store used water in buckets or drums to be used later for flushing toilets or doing laundry.
- If you have to wash dishes, use a paper towel to wipe off excess dirt and grime to prevent the dish water from getting dirty.
As of November 2019, Makana Municipality implemented zonal water rationing with different areas being left with no water on certain days. Students and locals are also reminded to report any leaks or water wastage to the municipality.
Makana Water Crisis – queries, leak and abuse reporting – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ongoing updates: Twitter (@MakanaWater and @Mobisam)
Website for updates and resources: http://www.makana.gov.za/water-crisis/