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  • Nelson Mandela Bay on brink of disaster as water crisis deepens

    Friday, March 10, 2017

    Port Elizabeth is on the brink of being declared a disaster area as the water crisis deepens

    Fast facts:

    • Despite imposing water restrictions on industry and households, the Nelson Mandela Bay’ Municipality’s principle dam – the Churchill Dam – is currently below 27% capacity.
    • The total combined capacity of the 10 dams supplying the metro was 47.2% as of Tuesday (7 March 2017). Should it dip below 45%, the metro could apply to have the region declared a disaster area.
    • During the last drought, the municipality applied for disaster relief and received R1.6bn in aid.
    • Mayor, Athol Trollip has said 20% of residents were consuming more than 70% of the city’s total water supply.
    • Annette Lovemore – mayoral committee member for infrastructure and engineering – said between 20% and 25% of potable water from treatment works was lost through leaks.
    • Since the metro had implemented water restrictions and started an awareness campaign, the number of leaks reported in February went from 16 661 in 2016 to 25 056 this year.
    • Lovemore stated that there is a shortage in the capacity to address this problem. “Our backlog is too big and our turnaround time is way too long. We should have 51 plumbers. We currently have 29.” Burst pipes were a priority, and needed to be fixed within 24 hours. The average response times for smaller leaks were between 18 and 24 days.
    • Trollip has stated that the municipality might need to resort to increasing water restrictions and imposing punitive charges for high water consumption.

    Source: News24, Derrick Spies, 07 March 2017


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