Now that most of most of our visitors have left having made serious inroads to our precious water resources, we are left to face the realities of the Eastern Cape drought.

According to the latest rainfall figures just released by SA Weather Service it does not paint a pretty picture for the western half of the Eastern Cape, with almost every station recording record low figures.

Garth Sampson of the PE Branch of the SA Weather Service says this area received an average of 57% of its annual total, with Makhanda worst off at 46%. The Eastern half of the Eastern Cape fared far better receiving 78% of its yearly total.

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area and surrounds has had one of the worst rainfall years in 120 years especially along the south coast and with the PE Airport recording the 3rd lowest annual rainfall figure in history with 395 mm.

Sampson says the outlook for the rest of the summer season looks bleak.

Looking at Dam levels, pre-holidays, Kouga Dam levels fell a little under 1% a month but over the three weeks of the season levels dropped some 6% leaving Kouga Dam at just 25%, less water than the significantly smaller Churchill dam. Churchill too dropped some 5% and of course our region main supply dam, Impofu, stopped supplying water quite some time ago when levels fell too low to allow water to be drawn from the dam.

So what to do?

It really is up to every one of us to make the effort. Social media over the season carried several reports of home owners watering their lawns or washing cars with hose pipes. This simply has to be stopped and there is certainly nothing wrong confronting those who choose to ignore the pleas.

Before those against the industrious entrepreneur running a car wash business out of God’s Acre cry foul of his water usage, certainly this needs to be looked at. But! We certainly do not want him to be stopped for he is offering a needed service but it was recently pointed out that even when he is not washing cars, water is spurting from his equipment. Possibly a local plumber could show a little community spirit and assist him with replacing tap washers  and educating him a little on saving water. He performs a wonderful service and must be left to continue a much need service so long as he does all he can to limit his water usage.

It is is up to all of us so in the spirit that our community shows in times of disaster, let’s show that same enthusiastic spirit by doing all we can to prevent a water disaster. Spring rains are a long way off and yesterday’s wonderful but gentle rain only watered the lawns and flower beds, not the dams and catchment areas.

Below Dam levels last week (3rd January) and below that,, levels as at 9th December before the season 

Dam Levels in Nelson Mandela Municipality supply