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Situation Looks Dire As Water Supply Continue Dropping

2021-07-14

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Dear valued member

Nelson Mandela Bay is fast running out of water as the city’s combined dam levels continue to drop at an alarming rate. To date, our dam levels have dropped to a historic 10,33% of capacity and with the city still not receiving any meaningful rains, this figure will continue to drop especially if there is no change in the current water consumption trend.
Currently, the Metro is using 289 megalitres of water per day, far from the 250ml/d that we should aim for. If consumption is not immediately reduced to 250ml/d, KwaNobuhle will run out of water this month. The area receives its water from the Loerie Water Treatment Works (WTW) and this facility is supplied by the Kouga Dam, which is expected to run dry this month.
As an intervention, the Municipality has installed 100 water tanks in the area and is also carrying out work on a major pipeline which will be connected to the Nooitgedacht Water Scheme to supply the area. The Nooitgedacht supplies the city with 60% of its water.
KwaNobuhle is one of the strategic business locations in the Metro and some of the businesses operating in the area are members of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber. The interruption in the water supply will have serious ramifications for these businesses as they rely on a constant water supply for their operations. This could potentially affect jobs in the area as some of the affected businesses would either have to implement short-time for workers or possibly close shop.
The impact will also have a domino effect on the entire supply value chain and put more strain on the Metro’s already overburdened local economy. Even worse, this could lead to a humanitarian crisis.
To this end, the Business Chamber has initiated an Adopt a School project which was conceptualised by our Water Task Team and is aimed at reducing water losses in the Metro. To date, 8 companies have adopted 21 schools as part of this city-wide water preservation effort. Water leaks account for a loss of around 35% of the city’s water, with at least 10% of this happening at schools.
The Metro has requested businesses to support the KwaNobhle schools and clinics in anticipation of the taps running dry in that area after the end of July. We thus have the support of some of our member companies who will be assisting with installing water tanks at schools in KwaNobuhle. We have also identified 6 clinics, 5 of which require assistance with connecting their tanks to their premises while one needs to be supplied with a water tank. However, drinking water for these clinics needs to be sourced as tank water is not suitable for drinking purposes. So we urgently call upon all businesses that want to support the KwaNobuhle initiative to get in touch with Justine Viljoen on taskteams@nmbusinesschamber.co.za
This week we held a meeting with Isuzu SA, VWSA and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to develop a water awareness campaign strategy for KwaNobuhle to drive the importance of water preservation and an urgent need for a major shift in behavioral change.
While KwaNobuhle will be the first area to be hit by water shortages, the rest of the Metro is also anticipated to experience setbacks at the end of August for areas supplied from Churchill and Impofu Dams.
Below are the areas:
• Murray Park
• Denholme
• Crockarts Hope
• Westlands
• Bay West
• Rendallton
• St Albans
• Clarendon Marine
• Fitchholme
• Beachview
• Korsten
• Ibhayi
• Wedgewood
• Fairview
• Royalston
• Parsons Vlei
• Mount Pleasant
• Charlo
• North End
• Kin Bay
• Farms in Gqebera

In October, areas supplied by Impofu Dam will run dry which include
• Mill Park
• Mangold Park
• South End
• Walmer
• Summerstrand
• Humewood
• Mount Road
• Newton Park
• Gqebera Central

In December, areas supplied by Groendal Dam will be affected including
• Some parts of Kariega
• Farms in Kariega

As an immediate and urgent intervention , the Business Chamber requests cooperation from all our members to reduce their daily water consumption by 20% to ensure the city prolongs its water supply by a few months.
The Metro has shared its medium to long term plans on mitigating an further water shortages in the city. The presentation can be found: nmbmwater2021

Prince Matonsi
Operations Manager

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