KOUGA Municipality is set to reduce water pressure to households across the region with immediate effect – to force the reduction of water consumption.

It is likely to result in supply interruptions being experienced in higher-lying areas for short periods during the day.

This after the Department of Water and Sanitation imposed a 70% restriction on the municipality’s approved water quotas amid rapidly declining dam levels of the Algoa Water Supply System – including the Churchill Dam, Impofu Dam and Loerie Dam.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that due to the severity of the ongoing drought, rapidly dwindling water resources and continued high water usage in Kouga, difficult decisions had to be taken.

“The reduction of water pressure, which forms part of the stricter measures that have been introduced in Kouga, is aimed at reducing residential water consumption,” he said.

“We urge residents to cut back their combined water usage by at least 50% as a matter of extreme urgency.

“As a region, we must reduce Kouga’s average water consumption from 11Ml per day to a maximum of 6Ml per day as per strict instruction from the Department of Water and Sanitation.”

Hendricks said that the Churchill Dam and Impofu Dam, that supplies water to Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and St Francis Bay, are expected to be without water by December, while the Loerie Dam has only three to four weeks of water storage left should no significant rain fall in the catchment area very soon.

“Under these conditions, no water will be available for supply off the respective pipelines when the dams run dry,” said Hendricks.

According to him, water demand will be supplemented with existing borehole water where possible. Although slightly discoloured, he assured residents that the water is purified and safe to drink.

More Water Saving Measures

Should water consumption not significantly decrease in the next week or two, water restrictors will be fitted at high consuming households.

“Although this is not an ideal thing to do, the situation we find ourselves in calls for drastic measures,” he said. “The restrictors cut water automatically to those households that use more than the prescribed amount.”

According to him, the municipality will, furthermore, be forced to consider water rationing.

“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,” said Hendricks. “We can only save water while there is still water to be saved.