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Knysna Drought Remains Critical

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
01 February 2010

THE Knysna Council has commended the municipality and residents for working together to manage the prolonged drought battering the Eden District.

However, infrastructure and development portfolio councillor Andrew Finn said the situation remained critical.

Finn said on Friday that the reverse osmosis waste water recycling plant for Knysna was being manufactured. “We have to commission the plant by the end of March as the funding (from the national Treasury) depends on this.”

Finn said the boreholes for the town had been drilled and needed to be commissioned. “Knysna will get an additional four megalitres a day, taking us to 14m/l,” Finn said of the expected yield from the plant and boreholes.

“We are still in a drought. We have perennial rivers feeding us and they’re taking strain. The flows are down.”

Finn said that last year this time the Akkerkloof storage dam had been only 20% full compared with more than 50% this year, which included pumping from the Glebe catchment dam. The Knysna River was flowing, “but not much”, while the Gouna and Karatara rivers were low. The Homtini in Rheenendal was in the same critical state.

Finn said the desalination plant in Sedgefield would be used extensively over the next month as the water purification works needed to be upgraded.

“We will rely on the desalination plant and (borehole) pumps, but we’re confident that Sedgefield will present less of a risk than Knysna,” Finn said.

He said the town needed to build all these emergency measures into its long-term strategy.

Increased abstraction from the town’s feeding rivers was also a long-term strategy that could be considered in a couple of years.

Source: Weekend Post

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