Thursday, 12 August 2016
Amathole District Municipality (ADM) has heightened water rationing in Mnquma Local Municipality (LM). This is due to increasing effects of drought in the area resulting to serious difficulties on supply of water in Butterworth and surrounding areas. Mnquma LM is among three (3) municipal areas which were declared drought disaster areas in December 2015. Subsequently, a provincial drought disaster was then declared by the Premier of the Province Honourable Phumullo Masualle and gazette as such on the 22nd of April 2016.
While rainfall in March and again in July did bring welcome relief to some areas, the Xilinxa dam supplying Butterworth, Kotana, Ehlobo as well as many other rural villages between Butterworth and Centane, received very little inflow and the level has continued to drop to alarming levels. The current level is at 13%. This level includes what is referred to as “dead storage” in the dam, this is water below the outlet level and can therefore only be used by installing pumps into the dam. According to an investigation it estimated that only 50 days of water supply is left of Xilinxa dam.
Alternative short and long term intervention measures are currently being explored including investigating the ground water potential in the area, the prospects however, appear to be small and it is highly unlikely that sufficient ground water yields will be found to make a significant difference.
The call for people to reduce consumption has yielded no results and our only other option appears to be to reduce the supply. In this regard ADM has reduced production from approximately 14 megalitres [ML] per day to 8 ML per day, as well as turning the water off for certain times of the day. Owing to the large network and the layout of the infrastructure, what has tended to happen is that some people get water all the time while other areas have ended up going without water completely.
A professional service provider is on site investigating alternative ways of managing the water rationing process, but the reality is that some people will continue to experience more prolonged outages than others. In order to provide some relief, ADM will increase the flow every few days and water tankers have also been deployed to cart water to the most severely affected areas.
Consumers are urged to use water sparingly as the situation is getting worse by the hour. ADM regrets any inconvenience caused by these undesired circumstances.
Issued by the Amathole District Municipality’s Communications & Customer Care Unit.