Water Affairs to restrict usage by 40%

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 16 March 2010

The Western Cape Water Affairs Department has approved legislation that restricts annual water usage in drought stricken municipalities from Hessequa to Bitou by 40% with immediate effect.

Saving Water

“The legislation is gazetted and will be implemented through by- laws in Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou and Beaufort West,” department provincial director Rashid Khan said in George.

The legislation also applied to conserving ground water, and households with boreholes were banned from watering their gardens between 7am and 7pm.

Although the idea of limiting private borehole use had been kicked around at previous provincial disaster management meetings, officials had to wait for the legislation to put the restrictions into effect.

Khan said they wanted to stop people with boreholes from overusing the “precious commodity”. They also did not want excessive private borehole use to lead to a lowering of the water table.

“This legislation comes into immediate effect except in Hessequa and Beaufort West where the legislation will only be gazetted in April. Offenders will be prosecuted if they ignore this ban,” Khan said.

He said municipalities would also be penalised if they did not affect sufficient water saving measures.

Source: The Herald

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

Southern Cape Drought now Critical

garden-route

Aloes along the Garden Route, Southern Cape

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
17 December 2009

The drought in the Southern Cape towns of Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Mossel Bay and George has led the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to sanction an increase in the water tariff as a measure to curb usage.

These towns were declared Disaster Areas in November this year, and the continued drought, which is expected to continue until April 2010, has seen the lowest recorded rainfall in the last 132 years.

Current restrictions include the use of grey water only for garden irrigation. The filling of swimming pools with potable water is prohibited, as is the irrigation of sports fields, washing of vehicles and cleaning of hardened surfaces. Contravention is subject to fines or imprisonment.

The new price increase will see the doubling of the cost in some areas, e.g. George for usage above 15 kilolitres per month per household. The price in George is set to increase to R16.80 a kilolitre for usage between 15 and 30 kl per month; usage up to 50 kl will cost R30.30; peaking at R60 per kl for usage above 50 kl per month.

Residents are encouraged to make use of rainwater harvesting and grey water systems.

The Knysna Water Crunch

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
03 December 2009

Continued drought conditions along the Southern Cape have necessitated the Provincial authorities to call on all affected municipalities to tighten up on existing measures to ensure that water consumption is reduced, and Knysna municipality may consider installing flow restrictors if necessary.

South African Weather Services have forecast below normal rainfall for the next three months exacerbating the drought situation, which is likely to worsen.

Knysna executive mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies said that local authorities have been urged to implement stricter measures to ensure that consumption is reduced. “The provincial minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said that they would like to see at least 30% savings from local businesses, and households must bring consumption down to 15-kilolitre per month.” The average usage per month for a 4-member family averages around 24kl.

Knysna Lagoon. Photo by Zaphgod under Creative Commons licence 2.0

Knysna Lagoon. Photo by Zaphgod under Creative Commons licence 2.0

Existing water restrictions prohibit the watering of gardens and the washing of vehicles, with the use of hosepipes for any purpose prohibited.

Appeals to the Knysna public to reduce water consumption has not realised the savings, and Bouw-Spies has warned that more law enforcement officers have been employed to monitor the situation. Offenders will be issued fines. “These fines will from now on reflect on municipal accounts,” she said. Her municipality is monitoring the top 100 consumers on a weekly basis.