The average level of Nelson Mandela Bay’s main water supply dams has reached a critical stage – having dropped to 44,5%, less than 5% above the level of 40% when water restrictions will have to be imposed.
According to Lourens Schoeman from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro; “Should the average level of the dams continue to drop at the current rate it may become necessary to introduce water restrictions early in the new year.”
On December 1, 2005 the average level of the dams stood at 46,9%, but despite the fact that almost 30mm of rain was recorded in the catchment areas during this time, the average level showed a daily decline and stood at 44,5% this morning – a drop of 2,4% in the first 19 days of the month.
The area’s largest water supply dam, the Kouga, was only 46,1% full at the end of November 2004, compared to 60,9% at the same time last year. The dam was 42% full this morning.
The Municipality therefore wants to appeal to its residents – and all the thousands of holiday visitors – to use water sparingly at all times, especially in the garden. A combined effort by one and all is needed to prevent the introduction of water restrictions.
It must be remembered that heat and strong winds contribute to the evaporation of water from the dams.
The following hints are offered to assist with the saving of water:
1) IN THE GARDEN:
- do not water lawns;
- reduce areas requiring water;
- do not water in hot or windy conditions;
- use mulches to conserve soil moisture (70mm);
- water by bucket or watering can;
- remove or lock outside taps;
- collect rainwater in tanks, or divert rainwater to garden;
- wash car on the lawn and use a bucket;
- keep lawn at 2 cm height;
- remove alien weeds that consume water;
- plant local indigenous trees & shrubs;
- dig catchment basins around your shrubs;
- ensure deep watering of roots.
2) IN THE HOME / OFFICE:
- immediately repair/report leaks – dripping taps can waste 200 l/day;
- check no overflows from hot water cylinder or toilet cistern;
- educate all staff and children to save water;
- wash up in batches, not single items;
- rinse dishes in a basin and use the water in the garden;
- use bathwater to flush toilets;
- heat water in a kettle rather than run the hot water tap;
- make less use of automatic dishwashers and reduce their running cycles;
- shower instead of bathing – do not let the shower run continuously;
- bath in not more than 100 mm depth of water;
- share baths when possible;
- automatic flushing urinals waste water, replace them;
- place 1 litre plastic bottle filled with water in toilet cistern;
- check inlet float valve operating level and washers in toilet cistern;
- check outlet valve at bottom of toilet cistern for leakage;
- factory managers must do water audits to identify wasteful practices;
- use water efficient appliances such as low-flow shower heads and tap aerators.
3) THE SWIMMING POOL:
- collect rainwater in tanks, divert rainwater to pool;
- use a pool blanket and save on evaporation;
- recycle your backwash water to a tank, allow to stand for a day and use on lawn;
4) YOUR WATER METER:
- to detect leaks close all taps and check that the water meter shows no consumption;
- read your meter regularly, get to know where the water is used;
- protect your meter from theft and vandalism.