Coast KZN

22 Mar 2017

Recent rains no ‘cure-all’ for drought

Tamlyn Jolly (Zululand Observer)

The drought will only be considered over when Goedertrouw Dam recovers

We may have experienced a healthy dose of rain recently but this has by no means signalled an end to the drought or the city’s water restrictions.

This was the overarching message at Thursday’s Disaster Management Advisory Forum meeting at which all municipal officials agreed to keep the City of uMhlathuze on level four water restrictions.

While water restrictions will be formally reviewed in May, it is envisaged that these would only be lifted to level three restrictions in the event of unseasonably high rainfall in the coming months.

The drought would only be considered over when Goedertrouw Dam recovers, which could take up to two years.

The dam is at a mere 30% capacity, ever so slightly higher than this time last year.

The delayed Tugela Transfer Scheme is further impacting the situation, meaning the water in Goedertrouw Dam must last through two winters.

Concerns were raised over an apparent lack of public awareness campaigns surrounding the drought and water usage, for which the City of uMhlathuze Communications Manager, Mdu Ncalane said the budget was too limited.

Concerns were also raised over illegal mechanics disposing of oil and other engine fluids down the city’s storm water drains, a problem which municipal representatives agreed to tackle.

Rennie Mbatha, head of the city’s Water and Sanitation, shared some positive news in that Lake Mzingazi’s level is at 71% while Lake Cubhu in eSikhaleni is 100% full.

‘Pipe repairs to Lake Mzingazi should be completed by the end of April, which will allow us to start extracting water from the lake,’ said Mbatha.

He also said the municipality is undertaking a feasibility study to construct a wall at Lake Cubhu to prevent water loss through overflow.

Residents are urged to continue using water sparingly and report leaks to the municipality’s emergency toll free number, 0800 222 827.


Online Article