National 2.9.2016 11:56 am

Umgeni Water in KZN lifts water restrictions

The water is flowing in Hazelmere Dam. Picture: North Coast Courier.

The water is flowing in Hazelmere Dam. Picture: North Coast Courier.

While Umgeni Water lifts restrictions in KZN, persistent drought conditions in Mpumalanga are still a concern.

Umgeni Water in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has announced that water restrictions will be lifted for several areas, including eMdloti, the Northglen News reports.

Residents of the seaside village have been subjected to some of the harshest water cuts since the restrictions were put in place. Last week angry residents, tired of being shut off, stopped municipal officials from turning off their reservoir valves.

According to Umgeni Water, unseasonal rainfall consistent with the El Niño effect was recorded at Hazelmere Dam during July and August, which amounted to a total of about 180mm. This resulted in the level of the dam rising steadily to its current 62%.

There is, at this stage, adequate water to meet the demands of eThekwini Metro, Sembcorp Siza Water and iLembe District Municipality, at volumes that were provided before the onset of water shortages and implementation of water restrictions.

• Restrictions will be immediately lifted in Waterloo, Verulam, Ottawa, eMdloti Beach, Sibaya Casino, La Mercy, Westbrook, Canelands, Ndwedwe, King Shaka Airport and the whole of Tongaat.
• Planned interruptions to water supply will cease as of September 1.
• Removal of individual water restrictors will commence.

Umgeni Water’s corporate stakeholder manager, Shami Harichunder, said that after a risk analysis that discounted the possibility of dam failure in the foreseeable future, a decision has now been taken by the Joint Operations Committee that the normal operating rules can be reinstated as a result of the improved situation.

The following will occur with immediate effect:

• All Drought Curtailment Targets will be withdrawn and normal water production will occur at Hazelmere Waterworks.
• The plant will revert to supplying volumes of potable water that will meet the full demands of its customers.

Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, the Lowvelder is reporting that most parts of South Africa is still experiencing drought conditions and water stress.

According to the South African Weather Service (Saws), “the current drought is the result of a sequence of dry spells and extreme hot conditions associated with the very strong 2015/16 El Niño event”.

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The recovery from the drought conditions across the country may take some time , depending on rainfall and temperature conditions over the coming spring and summer season, Saws said.

Caxton News Service

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