Kouga Dam falls below 7%

With the level of the Kouga Dam having plunged to below 7%, Kouga Municipality has announced that it will start implementing “watershedding” at the towns of Hankey and Patensie on Monday (6 August).

Households and businesses in both towns rely almost entirely on the Kouga Dam for water.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said that if no rain falls in the catchment area of the dam, Hankey and Patensie could be left with no water in the taps within the next three months.

“We have been trying to delay the need for watershedding, but the situation is critical and we cannot avoid it any longer. We know that it will be a difficult adjustment for the affected communities, but we ask that they bear with us. This measure is necessary to help keep water in the taps for as long as is possible.”

He said the water to the towns would be switched off for the greater part of the day, seven days a week, starting on Monday.

There will be two “washing days” during which water will be available for a bit longer.

The two “washing days” are Wednesdays and Saturdays. On these days water will be available from 4:30am to 11am in the mornings and then again from 4pm to 8pm in the evenings.

On the other five days, water will be available only from 4:30am to 8am in the morning and then from 4pm to 8pm in the evening.

Hendricks said the municipality would also continue its programme to conserve and increase the water supply to Hankey and Patensie.

“We are conducting an audit of water usage at houses, so that internal leaks on properties can be identified and repaired. This is especially important in previously disadvantaged areas where residents don’t always have the means or money to have leaks repaired.”

He said the municipality’s borehole programme also showed promise despite the area around Hankey and Patensie not being conducive to groundwater extraction.

“The yields are generally low and the salt content of the water high.

“The municipality has, however, had some success in this regard. We struck water at Zuurbron near Hankey, as well as near the Kouga Dam, and expect to receive the full test results this week.”