Various factors contributing to higher water demand in Gauteng: Dept

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The Department of Water and Sanitation says a combination of factors has led to the increased demand in water.

The Department’s Director General Dr Sean Phillips says various factors occurred at the same time coincidentally, leading to water supply challenges.

“We’ve had very severe load shedding and that has made it difficult to pump sufficient water into the reservoirs, secondly there’s been this heat wave, which has resulted in the spike in demand, particularly by people using more water to water their gardens, and their grass; and thirdly, normally it would have started raining and normally when it starts raining, people switch off their sprinkler systems. So, all of these factors occurred at the same time, resulting in a situation where there’s insufficient water in the reservoirs.”

Meeting with Rand Water

On Monday, Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu met with Rand Water amid the water shortages in the province.

The Water and Sanitation Department said it will temporarily increase the allocation for the abstraction of bulk water to Rand Water’s system in order to meet the demand.

Efforts to increase bulk water allocation to Rand Water system: Dr Phillips, Le Roy & Laher: 

The affected metros are Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni. Level two water restrictions have been enforced in some areas including the Johannesburg Metro.

Mchunu says the increase of the bulk water allocation to Rand Water should bring much-needed relief to affected metros in Gauteng.

Minister Mchunu’s spokesperson Kamogelo Mogotsi says more water will be made available to Rand Water as a temporary measure.

“Currently, Rand Water abstracts 4400 megalitres of water and has already exceeded this allocation by over 1600 megalitres since the beginning of the spring season. The Minister said while the increased allocation will bring in some relief to those municipalities experiencing restrictions due to high usage and demand, municipalities need to come up with measures to deal with those wasting water including imposing penalties and addressing the challenge of water leaks on municipal reticulation systems.”