The council approved the implementation of water restrictions with effect of 1 November 2019 within the municipal area of jurisdiction.
The town’s main source of water supply, the Wolwedans Dam is currently 55.62% full and the level of the dam is dropping at approximately 1 per cent per week.
The Wolwedans Dam also supplies PetroSA with about 15.43 Ml per day. The average municipal consumption is 23.0 Ml per day.
At the current consumption, it is envisaged that the Wolwedans Dam level will reach 50% by mid-October if the rainfall pattern does not improve.
Despite repeated calls for the community to save water and the voluntary 10% restriction applied to all users of potable water since 1 September 2017, the water consumption in the municipal area has increased marginally by 0.687% over the past 12 months. Residents in Herbertsdale and Buisplaas that are reliant upon groundwater resources have been subject to a 45% restriction for some time. The metered consumption over the past two financial years is 2017/2018 – 6,724,099.0 kl; 2018/2019 – 6,770,343.1 kl.
A notice to curtail water consumption from the Wolwedans Dam has been received from the Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency.
Should the dam level drop to below 30%, the desalination and reclamation plants will be operated at full capacity as per the Department of Water and Sanitation operating rules.
The water restrictions will be imposed per the relevant by-laws and policies and all consumers of water will be charged an increased tariff per the approved tariff list.
Restrictions come into effect
The following water restrictions will apply as of 1 November 2019.
• Watering of gardens are limited to one hour per day between 18:00 and 19:00 and is limited to two days per week. No irrigation systems may be used. Even-numbered households are restricted to Mondays and Thursdays only. Uneven numbered households are restricted to Tuesdays and Fridays only. Watering with a garden hose may only be done if the hose is hand-held.
• At sports fields, only the watering of cricket pitches, golf course greens and bowling greens are permitted for two hours per day, restricted to Tuesday and Friday mornings before 09:00.
• No hosing of roofs, driveways and any other surface and no washing of vehicles with garden hoses will be permitted.
• The filling of swimming pools at households is prohibited.
• Accommodation establishments and hotels must lodge an application with the municipal manager for relief in this regard and to fill up their swimming pools.
• Identification of areas with high water pressure and/or high water consumption for the installation of pressure reduction and/or flow lowering devices.
• Effective awareness processes must be followed.
It is important to note that, should the total available water supply drop in volume to between 50% and 40%, the following restrictions will apply:
• No irrigation systems may be used.
• No attached garden hose or automatic irrigation equipment may be used. Watering of gardens may only be done using a bucket during the previously prescribed times for evenly and unevenly numbered houses.
• The approved tariffs for a dam water supply below 50% will apply.
• No hosing of structures, roofs, driveways and no filling or topping up of swimming pools.
• Stricter policing and implementation of a complaint line and whistle
• Consultation with bulk consumers in the industrial and business sectors as identified through the billing system.
• Only the watering of golf greens, cricket pitches and bowling greens permitted, within the limits. The watering of all other types of sports fields is prohibited.
• Flow restricting devices will be installed in those households using more than 20kl of water per month and the cost thereof will be for the consumer.
• Fines will be issued for transgressors of these water restriction measures when the total available water supply drops to below 50%.
A Water Resilience Task Team consisting of the executive management and members of the mayoral committee will assist the municipal manager and executive mayor in taking decisions about water conservation and demand management during the drought period. The municipal manager will, in terms of the Water Demand Management Policy and in consultation with the executive mayor be authorised to implement or waive the above restrictions and any additional control measures as may be required depending on the circumstances prevailing at the time.
Only indigent households will receive 6 kl of free water per month when the dam level drops below 30%.
The director; infrastructure services, Dick Naidoo will prioritise interventions to reduce water leakages and non-revenue water and will implement measures to effectively manage groundwater resources in the rural areas.
Any contravention of these restrictions is deemed an offence in terms of Section 102 of the Mossel Bay Municipality Water Services By-Law and will be acted upon accordingly.