SABC News - NMB Municipality wants area declared a drought disaster :Tuesday 7 March 2017

NMB Municipality wants area declared a drought disaster

Tuesday 7 March 2017 21:39

Zolani Moya

The municipality will get more water from the Gariep Dam.(DWAF)

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is going to apply for the metro to be declared a drought disaster area.

The combined water level of the supply dams is sitting at 47%. Very little rain has fallen in the catchment areas and over the metro in the past six months.

Strict water restrictions are already in place. The metro says it will apply further punitive measures if residents continue to use water irresponsibly.

The Churchill Dam, one of three key water reservoirs for the metro, is only 27% full.

Authorities want residents to use even less water.

The Nooitgedach Low Level Water Scheme could provide relief.

“We are waiting for phase two of Nooitgedach augmentation which is hopefully coming in July. We will get more water from the Gariep Dam. We are drilling bore holes in the Coega area to use subterranean water. We are looking at building a desalination plant but we need rain. We need this dam to feel up with rain so that we can sustain our water usage as city,” says Mayor Athol Trollip.

The metro plans to apply for disaster relief within the next two weeks.

“The relief that we are applying for is money to allow us to put in place whatever we decide upon so that when the next drought comes, we are ready. When extra houses are built and extra businesses established in the region we can cope with them. We cannot wait for too long,” says a member on the Mayoral Committee on Infrastructure and Engineering, Annette Lovemore.

More than 18 domestic water leaks have been fixed in the past six months but the municipality says it still has 42% of non-revenue losses. That is water used but not accounted for, either through leaks, under recording or incorrect billing.

National Water Week will also be used to reinforce water savings campaigns.

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