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Sol not considering imposing water restrictions

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Water utility is planning to curb demand from August 2020 until January 2021

The country’s dam levels have dropped by 9% in the past three months. Seen here is the Vaal Dam. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality is not yet considering imposing water restrictions in the city.

This comes after Rand Water announced that it was planning to curb water demand from now until January 2021.

Ekurhuleni Municipality said it had received a letter from Rand Water, informing the city that various stages and levels of restrictions will be imposed on the bulk supply meters of Rand Water, in agreement with the municipal customers.

“According to the letter, Rand Water intends to have water consumption staying within the licence target level and that means an overall reduction of 8% by municipalities,” the divisional head: communication and media relations in the City of Ekurhuleni, Nhlanhla Cebekhulu, said.

Cebekhulu encouraged customers to do everything in their power to save water at this time.

“Such actions include ensuring that no water goes to waste and that efforts to reuse water are applied. Customers are also reminded to make plans to harvest rainwater which may be used for all other household needs except for drinking and cooking,” Cebekhulu said.

While the Sol Plaatje Municipality also receives its water from the Vaal River, municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet said the local authority had received no notification of impending water restrictions.

“We receive announcements of any restrictions from the Department of Water and Sanitation and not from Rand Water,” Riet said. “So far, we have not been informed of any water restrictions.”

According to the latest weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation, the country’s dam levels have dropped by 9% in the past three months, bringing them from 75.2% to 66.6% this week.

However, the department assured that this is not all doom and gloom, as this is normal during this period of the year, as the rainfall season for the inland provinces ended four months ago already.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality has included punitive costs for excessive water usage, which will see residents paying more for water during restrictions.

A 20% water restriction, will imply stage/level one water restrictions. This is aimed at enforcing “the sensible use of water and to prevent inefficient water use practices, by reducing non-essential use of water by 20%,” according to the municipality’s budget.

“These restrictions are meant to minimise unnecessary water consumption during peak daily demand periods, but to have little impact on amenity of community and residential assets. This may be achieved by enforcing water restriction tariffs and other related measures as approved by Council.”