Tighter water curbs as crisis deepens in Nelson Mandela Bay

12 July 2018 - 15:14 By Athena O’Reilly And Naziziphiwo Buso
Image: 123RF/maridav

A maximum of 50 litres of water per person per day – that is the appeal from authorities as the already critical water situation worsens.

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has announced stricter water restrictions – effective immediately – as the level of dams supplying the metro dropped to a meagre 19.27% this week.

Mayor Athol Trollip said at a media briefing at City Hall on Wednesday that the municipality had to adapt its plans and come up with a more innovative strategy with regard to water usage.

“As a city‚ and neighbouring municipalities‚ we rely too heavily on surface water and need to look at other options.

“The reality is if we don’t take the necessary steps to make sure that the Nooitgedacht [low-level water scheme] delivers what it can potentially deliver‚ we might not be flushing toilets anywhere in the city‚” he said.

While a Day Zero is still not on the cards for the Bay‚ due to the “unique [water] situation”‚ the municipality announced several additional measures to be implemented‚ including:

  • Households are restricted to total consumption of 15 kilolitres of water per metered connection a house a month;
  • High water consumers will have discs and flow restrictors installed across the board;
  • Hose pipes may not be used for anything‚ unless it is water from another source or for firefighting purposes;
  • Municipal water may not be used at all to water gardens‚ wash cars‚ hose down walls or paving‚ or top up pools‚ fountains or ponds;
  • Car washes will be shut down by the city if they do not recycle at least 60% of water;
  • No applications for new pools will be approved;
  • All building contractors must use treated effluent‚ collected from Fishwater Flats (or any other appropriate wastewater treatment works)‚ other than for concrete work;
  • Automatic urinal flushing systems are not allowed;
  • Municipal showers will no longer be operational; and- Municipal swimming pools must be filled with suitable ground water.

The municipality has also requested that residents use a maximum of 50l of water per person per day.

This article was first published in The Herald.