Coast KZN

01 Jun 2018

Hazelmere Dam looking strong

North Coast Courier Picture: Hazelmere Dam. (Photo: Barry Bowditch)

At 75 percent capacity the dam currently holds 27 million litres. The present level of Hazelmere Dam should ensure that there is enough water to meet the needs of the northern parts of Ethekwini Metro and southern Ilembe for at least two years, according to bulk water supplier Umgeni Water.

Although the project to raise the wall by seven metres is still not completed, at 75 percent capacity the dam currently holds 27 million litres, well up from its previous capacity of 17 million litres.

Once completed, the capacity will be 37 million litres.

The crisis which saw the level of Hazelmere drop to about 25 percent two years ago after a prolonged drought, should be well in the past.

After good spring rains last year and earlier this year, Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder says there is sufficient water available to meet the current full demand of eThekwini Metro to supply the north of Durban (Verulam, Waterloo, Sea Tides and La Mercy) and also meet the full demand of Ilembe district municipality to supply the south of Ilembe (Ballito, Umhlali and parts of Ndwedwe).

“Projections are that based on current demands and even if minimal rainfall occurs over the next two rainfall seasons, there will be adequate water resources to meet the requirements of Ethekwini and Ilembe,” he said.
However, he warned that consumers must be mindful that water is not an infinite resource.“Therefore, water conservation must become part of our daily practice.”
Assurance of supply to the North Coast is based on the increased capacity of Hazelmere and commissioning of the Lower Thukela bulk water supply scheme.

This scheme, constructed at a cost of R1, 5 billion, is currently supplying potable water to northern parts of Ilembe. It will, in the future, be able to supply potable water to Ballito. When this occurs, more water will become available in Hazelmere Dam to meet future increased demand from either Ilembe or Ethekwini Metro.