Kouga residents, businesses and visitors are urged to use water extremely sparingly, with the combined levels of the supply dams in the region having dropped to below 18%.
The communities of Hankey and Patensie are further reminded that water rationing has recommenced in both towns earlier this year.
According to the latest information from Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the combined levels of the dams that supply water to the regions and Nelson Mandela Bay totalled 17,47% on February 5.
The two biggest dams, Kouga and Impofu, stood at 7.71% and 16.96% respectively. The Churchill Dam was at 49.48% and the small Loerie balancing at 68.41%.
Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that to secure and develop alternative sources to augment the supply of water to towns, some R151,2 million were secured from National Treasury in October 2018 – including R58,7 million for groundwater exploration and R92,5 million for water conservation and demand management.
“To date, more than 40 exploratory boreholes were drilled at five Kouga towns with the drought disaster funding the municipality secured in October 2018,” said Hendricks. “Viable boreholes were connected at Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay and Patensie – with more boreholes to be connected in Hankey, Humansdorp and Cape St Francis.
“The Water Treatment Works at Jeffreys Bay was upgraded at a cost of R35 million to improve treatment of borehole water, while the water storage capacity at Humansdorp was increased to cater for extra groundwater.
“Old reticulation systems were furthermore replaced in Hankey, Patensie, Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, while 1 878 leaks were repaired at housed in disadvantaged areas. Extra bulk water meters were installed for improved monitoring and 15 219 domestic water meters were audited and replaced where necessary.”
He said that more than 200 rainwater tanks were installed in rural areas and informal settlements in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements during the COVID-19 Alert Level 5 lockdown.
Hendricks confirmed that water rationing recommenced in on January 14 this year, after being suspended temporarily for the festive season. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the water will be shut down for only six hours per day, from 09:00 to 15:00. Residents are encouraged to make use of water from the tanks that have been installed in the area to relieve the pressure on the dam.”
He urged all residents and businesses to use water only when absolutely necessary and to use as little as possible when they do. “Please limit your usage to 50l per person per day,” he said.
Residents are remined that the current water restrictions prohibit the connection of a hose pipe or an irrigation system to taps supplying water from the municipal system.
Pools may not be filled or topped up, and the washing of paved areas, roofs and walls with municipal water are also not allowed.
“Every one of us has a role to play in preventing Kouga’s taps from running dry – we must do all we can to save water,” Hendricks said.