More water restrictions on the cards

Below average rainfall expectancy in the coming wet season has led Umgeni Water to apply to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation for water restrictions to be extended for another 12 months, according to the utilities spokesperson Shami Harichunder. The application is anticipated to be approved and could be implemented in retrospect as of July 1.
It was forecasted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Weather Services (SAWS) that rainfall is expected to be below than average in the coming spring and summer months of 2017/18 and has thus influenced the decision to extend the water restrictions.
The current restrictions require that the four municipalities that receive water from the Mgeni system – uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Msunduzi Local Municipality, eThekwini Metro and Ugu District Municipality – must produce savings of 15% and consumers must, in turn, reduce consumption by at least 15%. This is in conjunction with the fact that there is insufficient water in the Midmar and Albert Falls dams. These dams are the cause of the water restrictions in the entire Mgeni system and the necessity for the 15% restrictions. As of July 14, 2017 the levels of the Midmar and Albert Falls (the largest dams in the Mgeni system) dams sits at 76, 03% and 32, 74% respectively. As these dams are the main sources of our water, the Umgungundlovu district and all of Pietermaritzburg will be affected by the water restrictions.
The decision for water restrictions to be extended was taken by the Mgeni system Joint Operations Committee after, in May this year, the operating rules for the Mgeni system were reviewed. If at the end of the rainfall season (May) the water resources reach at least 70% in the entire Mgeni system then the water restrictions will drop, said Harichunder.

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Byrone Athman

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