Image via GCIS
The government urges South Africans to use water sparingly.
Image via GCIS
Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has announced the urgent measures set to address water challenges in the country, where dam levels have been declining rapidly.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has since conducted scientific projections that prove hot temperatures will continue until the end of the summer season.
Which means that between October and early December, South Africa will face “below-average rainfall” and this is anticipated to be accompanied by hot temperatures that can increase the evaporation levels in the low-levelled dams.
Minister Sisulu notes that the interventions are in line with the government’s latest District Model -Khawuleza- which aligns integrated service delivery across the three spheres of government, within the next 18 months.
This comes after the department’s recent dam levels report, which proves that some of the country’s water reservoirs are losing 1% of stored water each week, and the report details water levels to have dropped from 73,3% in the same period last year to 60% this week, which indicates a 10% loss in the last year alone.
The Minister states that the interventions will include:
In the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, the Department will provide boreholes in Graaf-Reinet, and bring the Xonxa Dam in Queenstown to supply water to the town. It is reported that Lusikisiki is earmarked for an increase in water supply, through the upgrade of local water treatment works, and the construction of Zalu dam will be instantly prioritised.
The department has gained funds via it’s Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) to facilitate the bulk supply of water and equipment of boreholes in Qwaqwa, Free State; as the area is currently facing water challenges since the dam level at Fika Patso has declined to 10%.
Other areas that are affected by water shortage and that have been identified for intervention are:
The department has confirmed that water supply in Gauteng stays secured, as the Integrated Vaal River System is powered by 14 rivers and a contingency plan for the stabilising of this system is in place.