Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has committed to increase the bulk water allocation to the Rand Water system as an emergency measure to address water shortages in the Gauteng metros, district and local municipalities.
This measure is put in place for nine months to address water shortages in the province.
“We note the increase in water usage and restrictions imposed by Rand Water in response to deteriorating water levels in their reservoirs. Therefore, we will temporarily increase the allocation for the abstraction of bulk water to Rand Water’s system in order to meet the demand,” Mchunu said.
He said this should bring relief to some metros, including Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City District Municipalities.
Mchunu said the measure is put in place for a period of nine months, while the department seeks permanent solutions to water usage and management.
On Monday morning Mchunu met with water officials in Gauteng after the Commando System- a water system which supplies the Brixton reservoir, Crosby pump station and Hursthill reservoir went from low to empty.
A collapse of the system in the area left thousands of residents and businesses left without water.
According to Rand Water, the utility currently abstracts 4,400 megalitres of water, and has already exceeded this allocation by over 1,600 megalitres since the beginning of Spring.
The minister said while the increased allocation will bring in some relief, municipalities need to come up with measures to deal with water wastage, including imposing penalties and addressing the challenge of water leaks.
“As a country, we are experiencing the scarcity of water, yet we allow for up to 40% of our water to be lost to leakage. This undermines our efforts to address water challenges,” Mchunu said.
He said a Water Room Committee, including the department, Rand Water and all Gauteng Municipalities, will be set up to provide holistic coordination, provision and management of the water system in the province.
Source: News24, Business Tech, IOL, Times Live, image from Twitter: @GovernmentZA