Unlike other towns that have water stored in dams that can be pumped, we only ever have about two days’ supply of peak demand water stored above ground in the reservoirs on the hill. Our Peak season demand is in excess of 3.5 million liters per day and we only have a bit over 7.6 million in usable storage when the reservoirs are full.
Our water supply comes from several brackish shallow wells each yielding less than 3% of daily demand while the bulk of the water is produced by Reverse Osmosis which desalinates some saline water from other wells but most of the raw water is pure seawater.
This water manufacturing facility is a highly complex plant made up of many interrelating parts. When a single component breaks down, production is reduced, while in some cases this could cause the entire plant to shut down. While the plant can supply enough water if everything is in perfect harmony, but this does not always happen 24/7/365.
Earlier this year, a collaborative forum was established, the Water Management Committee (WMC) with its supportive Technical Task Team (TTT). Its sole object is to maintain a consistent sustainable water supply while being mindful of the social and environmental issues.
The WMC and TTT are made up of four entities, Department of Water and Sanitation Eastern Cape, Ndlambe Municipality, Amatola Water as the implementing agent and ourselves, the Service Delivery Support Group (SDSG). The SDSG in turn is made up of the two local ratepayers’ associations (KOSRA and BRRAG), the Chamber of Business and Tourism and Estuary Care. The Eastern Cape director of Department of Water and Sanitation Region leads the WMC.
This new and unique partnership between Government departments and civil society is working by combining effort and skills to address the challenges and to ensure maximum service and water provision to the community at large.
Although much progress is being made at the water plant, the system remains volatile and is especially vulnerable during peak demand.
Water rationing is currently being implemented to ensure that the reserves do not get totally depleted during this holiday season. As of today, our reserves are building up incrementally as Amatola Water have been able to bring some elements back on line. By law a certain quantity of water has always to be kept in reserve for emergency use.
Over the past few months, the constituent members of the Service Delivery Support Group have been encouraging their members and all residents to install extra water tanks to collect rainwater but we ask that you now please refrain from filling your tanks or even maintaining levels by using Municipal Water at this late stage. All rainwater tanks should be full with the good rains so by filling tanks now it would be unfair to the rest of the community.
We call for calm, there are no dams running dry and there is no “D” day ahead, it is just that we cannot supply water to fully meet demand. We ask that everyone would help by limiting showers to a minimum with no washing of cars and boats etc. please.
Service Delivery Support Group
Serving the whole community