SABC News - Water restrictions remain despite heavy rains:Tuesday 21 February 2017

Water restrictions remain despite heavy rains

Tuesday 21 February 2017 16:04

Mthobisi Mkhaliphi

The Department of Water and Sanitation says although water levels have increased in some dams, residents should continue using water sparingly. (SABC)

The Department of Water and Sanitation says the water restrictions will continue despite the heavy rains that are falling across parts of the country.

The department says although water levels have increased in some dams, residents should continue using water sparingly.

Farmers have also expressed their satisfaction with the recent good rains.

The Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality in Mpumalanga is one of the municipalities that were severely affected by 2016's drought.

The municipality struggled to provide its residents with adequate water due to low water levels in key dams.

However, the recent rains have brought hope to the municipality and its residents.

Water levels in some of the dams such as Nooitgedacht, Vygeboom and Inyaka are now above 70%.

Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality Spokesperson, David Nhlabathi, says the municipality is now able to provide clean drinking water to its residents.

"We can confirm that all our communities do receive water because on area where we do not have water taps, we do supply water through water tankers."

The Department of Water and Sanitation says water restrictions will continue to be in place until they are satisfied that there is enough water in all the catchment areas

Farmers also believe that the current rains will bring much relief, especially to keep the soil wet.

Agri South Africa Chairperson in Mpumalanga, Robert Davel, says the water restrictions should be reviewed in municipalities where dam levels have improved. However, he says more rain is still needed in some areas.

"The low level of soil moisture was definitely a concern and this rain is now more than welcome and definitely to keep the soil moisture on a good level."

Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation says water restrictions will continue to be in place until they are satisfied that there is enough water in all the catchment areas.

The department's Spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, says they will review the situation in two months' time.

"The recent rains will assist lot of our farmers as well as all the other people that are accessing water from our dams. But obviously, this does not mean that the drought that has been with us over the last two to three years has been broken. We are still in a drought situation."

Ratau has called on residents to ensure that they continue to save water.

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