The drought we are currently experiencing is the most severe drought in the history of South Africa. These insufficient rainfalls are attributed to climate change. The different dam levels are moderately low because of the very low rainfall we received during the previous year and this year. It must be noted that even if there are possibilities of rain, this is not going to change the water situation immediately. Currently, our dams are at their lowest levels, which is the situation that poses a threat with regards to water supply. The city, together with its stakeholder, continues with its drive to improve its water infrastructure programme of detecting water leaks as well as accelerating implementation of water conservation and demand management programme to curb water losses, but as things stand it is not assisting until we have experienced necessary amounts of rain.

DAM LEVELS – As of this morning, 20 October 2016, the dam levels are as follows:

Welbedacht       9%

Rustfontein        25%

Welbedacht Dam, which is situated at Wepener is currently sitting at 9%, and supplies water to the southern and eastern parts of Mangaung that includes: Wepener, Dewetsdorp, Phahameng, Caleb Motshabi, Phase 6, Pellisier and parts of Langenhoven Park. Rustfontein Dam is currently at 25%, and supplies Thaba Nchu, Botshabelo, and some of the rural areas that fall within the jurisdiction of Mangaung. Caledon River supplies water to Welbedacht, the supply of which covers Modder River catchment. This includes Mockes Dam and Rustfontein, which are Mangaung Metro’s main water sources.

We are supposed to consume 170 mega litres per day but we consume an average of 200 mega litres per day. We are not meeting the target.

BACKGROUND

Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for monitoring the acatchmeent of dams and rivers. Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is a Water Services Authority (WSA) that provides water to its residents in Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Dewetsdorp, Wepener, Van Stadensrus and Soutpan. MMM water services providers are Bloemwater (BW) and Orange-Riet Water User Association. BW supplies water to Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Dewetsdorp and Wepener. Orange-Riet Water User Association supplies water to Soutpan.

MMM is required to meet 30% water saving (i.e. Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu –170 mega litres per day, Dewetsdorp – 1.96 mega litres per day, and Wepener – 0.017 million m3 per day).

UPHOLDING OF WATER RESTRICTIONS

Mangaung Metro responded to the water situation by imposing water restrictions in line with the council resolution taken on 03 July 2015. The water restrictions are:

  • Watering of lawns: Watering of lawns is not allowed.
  • Watering of plants: Watering of plants utilizing buckets is allowed but only on alternate days.
  • Watering of plants utilizing hosepipes and irrigation systems is not allowed.
  • Swimming pools: No emptying or filling of swimming pools is allowed.
  • Car Washing: Washing of cars utilizing hosepipes and spray machines is not allowed. Washing of cars is only allowed when a bucket of water is used to wash cars. Car Wash is only limited to a maximum of 1 time per month. Waste water from car washing exercise is not allowed to run on the street as it will damage the road infrastructure.
  • Window cleaning: Window cleaning is not allowed.
  • Hosing of hard surfaces: Hosing of hard surfaces is not allowed.
  • Automatic flushing cisterns: All automatic-flushing urinal cisterns shall be turned off in all buildings during times when such buildings are normally vacated by the public and/or staff other than cleaning staff. Water users are advised to install cisterns that are water wise to help save water
  • Notification of existence of boreholes: All owners with borehole(s) within the jurisdiction of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality must in terms of Section 48 (1)(a) of the Municipal Water Services By-laws inform the Municipality of the existence of borehole(s) in their respective erf/ erven.

JOINT EFFORTS ON CONSUMER AWARENESS AND PUBLIC EDUCATION

As the city we will be intensifying the program of Water Conservation through different platforms, which include public meetings, school awareness and the media. We will continue with our regular water updates as they emanate from different areas within the jurisdiction of Mangaung Metro.

MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT

On enforcement, the city will continue to improve its enforcement plan. Engineering services is intensifying the presidential ‘War on Leaks’ programme through leak detection and repairs. Leakages are a priority and are repaired in the shortest turnaround time possible. The Executive Mayor is making an appeal to every MMM resident to use water sparingly and adhere to water restrictions as well as efficient water use practices. We are also asking our customers to spread the message of water saving and to report any water leakage or water wastage.

To report any burst pipes, water leaks and water wastage please call the following numbers:

  • Call Centre: 0800 111 300 / 051 410 6689 (7:00am – 22:00pm, 7 Days a Week)
  • Disaster Management Centre: 051 409 9600 / 051 406 6666 (all hours)
  • Law Enforcement: 051 405 8771 (all hours)

Issued by: MMM Communications