As water level in 180 SA dams continued to dissipate, Water and Sanitation Minister Mokonyane says South Africans should learn to use water judiciously to prevent water hardships in future.
The water tables of all dams in South Africa has continued to fall due to the damning effect of drought and the Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane warned that it could take more than three years for dam levels to recover to acceptable operating capacities given the effects of a strong El Nino weather phenomenon.
To ensure SA never lack water, the SA department of water and sanitation (DWS) said all sectors must put in place appropriate plans at all levels of the water supply chain to prevent SA dams running completely dry.
Confirming this, Rand Water, Johannesburg’s supplier, said it and other water services authorities have been directed to implement measures to cut their supply to cities by 15%.
Added to the restrictions already in place, the department said in a statement yesterday it had encouraged water conservation and water demand management, eradication of unlawful water use in the irrigation sector, desalination of mine water and reuse as essential interventions to limit the risk of drought restrictions. To underline the seriousness of water shortages, the Integrated Vaal River System, which supplies mainly.
The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) consists of the Upper, Middle and Lower Vaal Water Management Areas (WMA) as well as transfer schemes from other water management areas such as the Thukela, Usutu and Inkomati WMAs. The total storage capacity of all the SA dams in the IVRS is 11.26 km³. The current total demand on the VRS is 3.07 km³ per annum, which is 2.7% more than the current system yield of 2.99 km³ per annum.
Should these high demand patterns continue without reduction, and if the drought persists because of a below-normal rainfall cycle in next two years, then the IVRS dams will be empty by July 2018, rand water said,
“Failure to comply will result in DWS having to institute administrative, civil and criminal enforcement processes. This action is mainly due to a projected water scarcity by July 2018, should the current consumption patterns continue,” it warned.