Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 August 2010
Mossel Bay’s water situation is “becoming bleaker by the day” and the municipality has called on residents to pray for rain every Wednesday at noon.
Municipal manager Michele Gratz said yesterday the town was “racing against time” to develop additional water sources, particularly the desalination plant that would supply 70% of the town’s needs.
The Wolwedans Dam, the town’s main supply of drinkable water, dropped to 18,5% this week and is set to run out of water by January if there is no rain before then.
If the dam level dropped to 10% or less, the Water Affairs Department said, only the municipality would be able to extract water. PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids refinery also extracts from the dam.
The municipality also had to investigate abstracting water for industrial use from the Hartebeeskuil Dam, which is 38% full.
The dam’s water is too brackish for human consumption, but can be purified at the reverse osmosis effluent purification plant at Hartenbos.
“It would, however, be costly to get the dam’s water to the plant because of the distance involved and it will also require the expansion of the recently completed plant,” Gratz said.
She said the immediate prospect for rain in the town, which has become the hardest-hit in the Garden Route’s worst drought in recorded history, remained unfavourable. Continue reading