The Water and Sanitation Department has set aside R460 million for drought-stricken municipalities in the Eastern Cape.

The drought situation in the province has reached critical proportions, with supply dams in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro based in Port Elizabeth, currently sitting at an alarming 37%.

The Metro has begun drilling boreholes to explore alternative sources.

Head of the Geo-Science Department of the Nelson Mandela University, Dr Gaathier Mahed, says that the project, which cost R250 million, is named the Coega Kop Wellfield.

“So ground water in the past was a problem. People would always say ‘argh we will just sink a well’. People need to understand that ground water cannot always be the solution, it needs to be managed effectively and proactively along with surface water if we want a good long term sustainable water supply,” says Mahed.

Municipality spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki says they are considering tightening water restrictions, especially with the leakage problem.

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