Beaufort West braces for severe weekend water-shedding

28 December 2018 - 14:46 By TimesLIVE
Gamka Dam in the drought-stricken town of Beaufort West on November 8 2017. The town's municipality has warned it cannot meet the basic water needs of residents this weekend.
Gamka Dam in the drought-stricken town of Beaufort West on November 8 2017. The town's municipality has warned it cannot meet the basic water needs of residents this weekend.
Image: Esa Alexander

Beaufort West municipality has warned residents that it does not have enough water to meet the basic needs of the town over the weekend.

The town has been in the grip of a crippling drought and has relied heavily on nearly 40 boreholes and a water reclamation plant to sustain the supply of water to residents.

But the municipality warned that a number of boreholes had dried up and the reclamation plant had ceased operating due to a lack of maintenance.

Strict water-shedding measures were introduced on Christmas eve due to “extremely low reservoir levels”. Residents were advised to store water for use overnight.

The municipality said in a statement that it had decided to do maintenance on the water reclamation plant, starting on Friday. The plant will only resume operating on December 31 — leaving residents with extremely limited quantities of water over the weekend.

The shortage will also have an impact on holidaymakers passing through the town. 

“The community must be informed that water disruptions can be expected during this time in all areas and water-shedding will continue,” warned the municipality.

“Water-shedding will commence from Friday, December 28, until Monday, December 31, during the evenings from 6pm to reduce consumption.

Reservoir levels were only expected to stabilise by January 3.

Humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers poured millions of rands into a “crisis intervention plan” to prevent the taps running dry in the drought-stricken town a year ago.


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