Nelson Mandela Bay remains open for business and tourism despite the city facing water shortages and the Eastern Cape province suffering from an ongoing drought.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Andrew Whitfield urged tourists and business to save water and heed water restrictions.
Whitfield said water restrictions were part of the contingency plans put in place and Nelson Mandela Bay implemented many strategies to prevent the city from completely exhausting all the water supplies.
“We remain open for business however the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is currently facing water shortages and we encourage all our visitors to help us to save water. The levels of our supply dams have reached an all-time low of just above 24 percent,” said Whitfield.
Some of the city’s water contingency plans include:
·Phase three of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme comes online this year, after which the entire system will provide a total of 210 ML a day to the Metro.
The Nooitgedacht scheme is the extension of the Nooitgedacht water-treatment works that treats water from the Gariep Dam that borders the Free State and Eastern Cape province. The water then flows via the Orange-Fish River tunnel and a series of connected rivers to the Sundays River irrigation scheme.
From there it is piped, via the treatment works, to areas which include Port Elizabeth.
Nelson Mandela Bay commenced Phase 1 of the operation as far back as 2011 in anticipation of water restrictions.
Given the dwindling capacity of our Western Supply Dams, the City has embarked on a Municipality-wide groundwater exploration programme. For example, high pressure and fast-moving groundwater below the Coegakop Area could see a number of artesian wells established, producing approximately 30 ML of water a day.
The Municipality will also push down consumption by reducing the velocity and pressure of water moving through pipes. Additionally, there will be an accelerated infrastructure maintenance and replacement operation over the next few years, starting immediately.
Faulty water meters will be repaired, and new meters will be installed at households where water supply has been free-flowing.
Water restrictive devices will be installed at those households or businesses identified as consuming excessive amounts of water.
Whitfield said the municipality was confident that the city would not reach a ‘Day Zero’ and pointed out that travellers and investors would not exacerbate the current situation in Nelson Mandela Bay.
-African News Agency (ANA)