Massive water project will supply Durban, Maritzburg, south coast
Umgeni Water announced on Wednesday that construction of its R4.7bn uMkhomazi bulk water scheme will start next year.
Speaking at a water and sanitation department media briefing in Durban ahead of National Water Week next week, Umgeni Water CEO Thami Hlongwa said economic growth and the migration of workers in and around Durban had placed pressure on the eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities.
"For us, from the bulk water side, we have to ensure that we have adequate plans in place to service the growth patterns that we are seeing within the N3 corridor and the metro itself.
"We are going to be implementing the lower uMkhomazi bulk water scheme, where we will be building a dam near Sappi Saiccor. The treatment works will be in Craigieburn.
"That dam will supply both the south coast and parts of Durban like the Amanzimtoti area. We are finalising that scheme in terms of ensuring that we go into construction by 2020," he said.
Hhlongwa said the scheme was in the planning phase.
"It is a R4.7bn scheme in terms of estimation ... It will be the biggest scheme built post-apartheid in KwaZulu-Natal."
Hlongwa said the scheme would be augmented by "a second scheme, the upper uMkhomazi scheme, where water will be taken from Bulwer, via the Smithfield Dam.
"It will be moved to the Richmond Road area, where we will treat it and pipe it into Umlaas Road," he said.
"The nice thing about the scheme is that it will provide us with at least 600 million litres a day. eThekwini currently consumes 1,105 million litres a day. It will give us another 50% of the current needs which be enough for another 40 years," said Hlongwa
He said it would cater for growth in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.