South Africa 7.8.2017 11:47 am

eThekwini 10-year water plan seeks to cut wastage

Tap file picture.

Tap file picture.

Durban will adopt a two-pronged approach to water conservation and ensure a sustainable supply of water.

A Water Conservation and Water Demand Management Plan, which focuses on the next decade, was presented at a meeting of the executive committee this week by eThekwini Municipality’s deputy city manager for trading services, Philemon Mashoko, reports the Berea Mail.

The plan outlines steps Durban will take to ensure a sustainable water supply up to 2027. Among these steps is the establishment of a first-level response team to deal with water pipe bursts and leaks in record time.

The plan also deals with the security of water supply that, among others, includes financial sustainability, water quality, management capacity, water resources, including ground water, the reuse of effluent, dams, seawater and rainwater harvesting, water conservation, water demand management and infrastructure stability.

The broad objectives of the plan, according to Mashoko, is to reduce nonrevenue water to less than 20 percent and reduce the annual water demand growth to less than one percent. It also seeks to reduce unrestricted average domestic water consumption (wastage) by 25 percent, and increase water reuse to 100M per day. It also includes the installation of meters on all water connections, by 2022.

“We will use the lessons learnt in the last ten years and avoid the mistakes made while maximising on the interventions and methodology that yielded good results,” he said.

Plans

A two-pronged approach to water conservation will be pursued, namely demand reduction from the consumer side and demand reduction from the utility side, he said.

He outlined new targets for water loss through bursts and leaks from 30 percent to 25 percent in the next five years and 17 percent by 2027. Water loss through inaccurate meters, billing errors and illegal connections is currently 10 percent, and the new target has been set at five percent in the next five years and three percent by 2027.

Targets on water losses through authorised unbilled consumption in rural ares, informal areas, RDP areas and fire fighting and tanker services has been set a five percent in the next five years and three percent by 2027 which would be an improvement from the current loss of 10 percent.

Finances

In financial terms, benefits of the plan for the city include a R229-million annual savings from loss reduction, a R126-million annual increase in billed revenue from metered consumption and R38 million from the increase in sewer charges which will be implemented over ten years.

“Education and awareness campaigns, while ongoing, will be refocused and intensified. The installation of smart meters, valve control training and resizing of meters is still to commence while the replacement of aged meters will be intensified under the programme.

“The metering of informal settlements is very slow and a programme will commence soon while the metering of rural properties will also be intensified. Pilots of treated effluent reuse are underway and by-laws review will commence,” he said.

Mashoko said 68 000 water flow restrictors had been installed in the city to deal with the drought in the past year.

Caxton News Service

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