WATER SITUATION MUCH IMPROVED BUT NOT SAFE YET
The 167 mm of rain that fell in the catchment area of the Wolwedans Dam recently has resulted in the level of the dam rising to 27 per cent by Wednesday, 27 October 2010, after it was as low as 14,6 per cent two weeks ago. At the time of going to press water was still flowing into the dam.
The levels of the smaller Klipheuwel, Hartebeeskuil and Ernst Robertson Dams rose to respectively 45%, 40% and 100% respectively. Some good strikes of water were also made in the borehole drilling project during the past week.
“The net effect is that Mossel Bay now has sufficient water to last it until May 2011 at present consumption levels from the Wolwedans Dam as well as the other sources. It excludes the yield of the seawater desalination plant, which is scheduled to achieve full production of 15 megalitres a day by the end of January 2011. The water availability projection takes the increased water consumption over the year-end holiday season into account as well.
“The rain has obviously eased the pressure on the town’s water sources in the short term, but the situation remains extremely serious. It is therefore still necessary for consumers to continue showing good discipline and to stay within the set limit of 15 kilolitres per household per month.
“The water restrictions also stay in force as the level of the Wolwedans Dam will have to more than double from its present level before the easing of the restrictions can be considered. The present punitive charge of 200 per cent on consumption of exceeding 20 kilolitres per month will however be reduced to 100 per cent if the dam’s level exceeds 25 per cent on the first day of November 2010. When the dam’s level is between 25 per cent and 40 per cent, the punitive charge is 100 per cent. When it is between 40 per cent and 60 per cent it is 50 per cent, after which it falls away altogether in terms of the presently applicable Council resolution on water tariffs,” said Dr Michele Gratz, Municipal Manager.
Dr Gratz said the Municipality at present uses water from the Klipheuwel, Hartebeeskuil and Ernst Robertson Dams only to ease the pressure on the Wolwedans Dam. This is also to help ensure that enough water remains available in the dam for PetroSA to sustain their operations.
“We have been working closely with the company, which has made contributions to the cost of the waste water reclamation and seawater desalination projects, the borehole drilling project and the project to pump water from the Hartebeeskuil Dam into the municipal network. PetroSA is major player in the local economy and it is important that every effort possible is made to ensure that their production is sustained,” she said.
Dr Gratz said that good water has also been struck in new boreholes at Aalwyndal and Kleinbos respectively. A blow yield of 17,7 litres per second was achieved at a depth of 201 metres at Aalwyndal and a blow yield of 14,7 litres per second at 155 metres was achieved at Kleinbos.
She said that the boreholes as well as the other projects, such as the waste water reclamation and seawater desalination projects, will increase Mossel Bay’s water security in future and also enable the town to cope with further development.