KZN dam levels' decline 'unnoticed'

The Goedertrouw Dam near Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, which is the area's prime water source, has recorded a decline from 55.7% to 55.2%.

This as focus on Covid-19 has deflected attention from the serious drought still affecting the region.

The decline in the local dam level, as well as at others in the province, has been of great concern to the department of water and sanitation (DWS) which has called for communities to use water sparingly.

"A weekly dam levels report issued by the department of water and sanitation in KZN has shown a marginal decline in the province's dam levels from 62.2% last week to 61.8% this week," said DWS spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

Ratau said the department had implemented various measures to ensure a reliable water supply.

"To assist communities with water challenges, the department has allocated 300 water storage tanks at the eThekwini Metro, with an additional 123 tankers.

"The uMzinyathi, Harry Gwala and Zululand Districts received 480, 350 and 212 water tanks, respectively.

"The Ugu District Municipality received more than 200 water tanks and 54 tankers to help with water refills," he said.

In this financial year, the department has committed R3 billion to continue with the implementation of 136 bulk water and sanitation.

This was announced by Minister of Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu who delivered the department's budget vote last week.

"We have decided to prioritise connecting our water resources to the water supply systems servicing the un-served communities.

"I, therefore, call upon all water services authorities to prioritise the operations and maintenance of these grant-funded infrastructures by committing at least 10% of their operating budget to the maintenance of infrastructure under their jurisdiction.

"Through the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs we would like to see this amount ring-fenced.

"This will ensure that water services remain in an operable state, rendering a reliable service to our communities and minimising water losses," Sisulu said.

This article first appeared on Zululand Observer and was republished with permission.

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