The Eden Disaster Management Centre has issued a warning to the effect that the Eden District, which includes Mossel Bay, is busy entering another drought period of an estimated 18 months. This follows on the debilitating drought of just over two years from November 2008 to October 2010 when Mossel Bay, together with other districts, was declared a disaster area.
At that stage the level of the town’s main source of water, the Wolwedans Dam, with a capacity of 24,7 million cubic metres, decreased to less than 13%. However, thanks to forward planning, Mossel Bay is now prepared much better to cope with such a drought as several emergency water projects were put in place with financial contributions from the State and other parties. This increased Mossel Bay’s water security substantially.
The projects include:
- A seawater desalination plant with a production capacity of 15 million litres of water a day.
- A wastewater reclamation plant with a capacity of 5 million litres a day.
- Boreholes with an average yield of 1,4 million litres a day.
With the assistance of water restrictions, Mossel Bay’s total daily municipal water consumption was reduced to just under 14 million litres a day during the abovementioned drought.
At the time of going to press with this newsletter the levels of the four reservoirs from which Mossel Bay gets its water were as follows:
- Wolwedans Dam: 92,6 per cent.
- Klipheuwel Dam: 101,05 per cent.
- Ernst Robertson Dam: 101,23 per cent.
- Hartebeeskuil Dam: 62,41 per cent.
The joint capacity of the latter three dams is approximately a third of that of the Wolwedans Dam.