A small delegation of Ballito residents met with Malcolm Hubner (ward 22 councillor) and Colin Marsh (ward six), DA councillors recently. According to an update on Facebook group Meet My Neighbour Ballito, posted by Fran Jex; while water supply issues worsen and residents get more despondent, the councillors made time to clarify some concerns and remind locals that conservation is the urgent priority.
Among the major problems is the issue of the controversial Hazelmere Dam pipeline which has been designed to flow into an existing watercourse. Many concerns have been raised about blockage and back log but the councillors specified the importance of alternate flow schemes as a protective measure against mud accumulation and interruptive surges of water flow.
It is a shocking report that a system which is designed to deliver 4-5million litres per day is in fact being forced to deliver an output of 9 million litres instead, because of increasing usage. Before the installation of the pipeline 60 days of water were in the dam’s reserve; that has now risen to 100 days.
While the dam wall is due to be raised, one thing that was made clear is that silt removal is not an option. Resources have been strained as supply ‘routes’ have had to be drastically changed/rearranged to accommodate pressures. One such modification has resulted in Tongaat and Verulam being supplied by Shongweni Dam, and Maidstone Mill by the Dudley Pringle Dam (to take pressure off the Tongaat river and Hazelmere Dam).
The Department of Water Affairs is in administration of Hazelmere Dam, and also supplies Umgeni Water. Sembcorp Siza Water on the other hand buys 10 million litres of water from Umgeni per day in order to meet our needs.
It would seem that the townships fare better and stand in good stead for being an example of the kind of preservation that makes a difference; they only use less than 4% of the water supply.
The councillors stressed the following: monitoring will become stricter and complaints do nothing to help improve the situation. Residents need to start taking seriously that voluntary conservation will be less of a shock and inconvenience than the harsh water cuts that are on the way for those refusing to save.
Jojo Tanks has joined in the partnership to help maintain the recovering and recycling of water. Treatments are carried out thoroughly to ensure that adequate ‘green drop’ and ‘blue drop’ water standards are met for our domestic water needs.
The reality is that conservation levels are going to have to improve over the next few months. If residents continue to ignore the call to spare every drop then we will result in having to implement the Siza Water tankers that have already been prepared to deliver water to drop off points. If we do not want our taps to run dry, or to rely on a regulated water collection system, then let us rally together and improve the saving of both energy and water resources, optimally.
Here are great ways to get started. Remember to spare and share: