Water-shedding on the way
An unofficial report by the city's water and sanitation unit - proposing drastic measures to address the dwindling water supply in drought-ravaged areas - has gone viral, causing widespread panic among residents.The eThekwini municipality said yesterday that it would take its directive from co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who last week asked all municipalities to reduce water consumption by 15%.Durban mayor James Nxumalo would soon make official the city's "water-shedding" schedule.The unofficial report - dated March 4 - said "based on the current restrictions'', water supply would be shut off for nine hours a day, two days a week."Consumers can expect this to continue until dam levels reach 70% and more."There is no prediction for rains and the situation is dire. Further water restrictions will be imposed until the dams recover to a safe level."It said water tankers were unlikely to be dispatched during "shut-down times" because they were limited and in high demand.Umgeni Water spokesman Shami Harichunder warned yesterday that if restrictions were not imposed both Midmar and Albert Falls dams would run dry by year-end."Midmar Dam and Albert Falls are at dangerously low levels, below 55%, the lowest percentage they have been at in almost 35 years."Because the rains have not come, Umgeni Water has taken a decision jointly with the affected municipalities to implement water cutbacks of 15%."Areas north of Durban, like Ballito, Tongaat and Verulam have had water restrictions since last year because of low water levels at the Hazelmere Dam.