The reservoir levels distributing water across the City of Tshwane through the Rand Water supply system have plummeted substantially, leaving the management of the metropolitan municipality in a worried state.
As a result of consumers' failure to heed calls to use water sparingly, Rand Water had to restrict supply meters throughout the City by 30% to 50%.
"With our reservoir levels sitting at an average of 35%, we appeal to the residents of the city and other high water consumers to change their behavioural patterns when coming to water use," says the MMC for Utility Services, Cllr Abel Tau.
Rand Water's system has been experiencing low water levels since last month as a result of the following:
- Two of the purification plants failed due to a power failure as a result of veld fires.
- The situation was exacerbated by the malfunctioning of a valve at one of the utility's pumping mains at the Zuikerbosch Purification Station. This resulted in an 18-hour emergency shutdown on 17 October 2019.
- The heat wave and delayed rains that have been experienced in the region.
"In light of the water challenges experienced, the City will henceforth introduce water resource management practices. This will entail throttling the outflow valves of all reservoirs during the night so that the reservoirs can recover to the acceptable levels for the next day when they will be opened again (subject to quantity improvement)," said Cllr Tau.
It is hoped that through this throttling exercise the City will be in a better position to plan, monitor and control consumption, and preserve water for the benefit of its residents.
Residents are reminded of the following hints that were provided in terms of the partial restrictions that the City of Tshwane announced in May last year:
- No irrigation or watering of gardens until the reservoir levels have recovered.
- Plant indigenous or drought-resistant shrubs in the garden.
- Use a broom instead of a hosepipe to clean driveways or patios.
- Use grey water to water gardens and flush toilets.
- Report water leaks and burst pipes.
- Install water-saving devices.
- Where possible, install a low-flow showerhead and tap aerators.
- Use a dual-flush toilet cistern.
- Collect rainwater to reuse in the garden or to wash the car.
- Cover the swimming pool to reduce evaporation.
- Take a quick shower rather than a bath.
- Close a running tap while brushing teeth or shaving.
- Regularly check toilets and taps for leaks.
Residents are requested to remain vigilant in curbing wastage of this scarce resource and to make saving water a part of their lifestyles by following the above-mentioned tips.