Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape will identify wells and springs across the municipality to alleviate the water crisis.
This comes after a property owner in Newton Park tapped into the underground water and started supplying about 20 000 litres of water a day to fill up municipal swimming pools.
Most of the dams supplying water to the municipality are currently below 30%.
What was a crisis for a Newton Park resident, could be a temporary solution to the Nelson Mandela Bay water crisis.
Gregory Adams’ home is built on a water well, and the underground water is causing damage to his property.
As a contingency measure, Adams started pumping the water into a storm drainage system.
In October this year, after being approached by the municipal pools’ directorate, Adams supplies the municipality with more than 20 000 litres of water a day.
Adams says they tried different options of getting the water out of the property.
“We started to get the water out of the premises, and we created different ally ways of getting the water out of the premises, but to no avail. With that we started getting different systems in place, then started pushing the water into the pipes that lead to the municipal water, and that relieves itself. We’ve done plenty of litres of water, to date we have done over 7 million of litres since October for the municipality, and we have done seven to eight pools already.”
Recent rains did not reach the catchment areas in Nelson Mandela Bay, and the dam levels remain below 30 %.
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip says they are looking at different ways of saving water, at the same time ensuring that residents have access to water:
“We are in a crisis situation, and we are going to be reducing water consumption even more in the new year. So we are not out of the woods at all, we are very fortunate that we’ve got a water augmentation plan that comes from the Lesotho Highlands, through the Gariep dam down to fish River, through to Addo reservoir that eventually leads to Nelson Mandela Bay. So that augments our water, its keeping us on a stable situation, but under 30 %, which is critical.”
Trollip added that they are looking at using borehole water and will consider partnering with residents such as Adams, to curb the water crisis.
He says tests have been done on the water and it’s good for human consumption:
“What I’m looking at, and will have to get our engineers to come and look at, to see how we can harvest this water sustainably, and embark on a partnership with Greg. But let me make something clear, you are not allowed to sell borehole water, or spring water, it’s not yours. So what we have to do here is to try and find out whether this is sustainable, how it can be sustained and how best we can harvest this water. I’ve drank the water it’s absolutely beautiful and I’ll drink it again and it tastes no different to the municipal water.”
Water pumped from Adams’ property is currently filling seven municipal pools around the metro.
However, if the partnership is a success, all 67 municipal pools in the metro could be filled using this water.