South Africa: Mhlathuze Water urges residents to use water sparingly as dam levels in KZN drop

The Mhlathuze Water board has urged residents to use water sparingly as dam levels in KwaZulu-Natal drop.

In a statement on Friday the board, which supplies water to a large region stretching from the uThukela River in the south, along the east coast to the Mozambique and Swaziland borders, around Vryheid and back to the uThukela River, said that though it had sufficient water reserves residents still needed to be cautious because of a lack of rain during winter.

The board said that a report by the department of water & sanitation indicated a marginal decrease in the water in the Goedetrouw and Pongolapoort dams towards the end of June.

The dams are the main supply of water for the region.

“The Goedertrouw Dam — the chief source of water for industries and municipalities in Richards Bay and surrounds — this week dropped to 54.9% from last week’s 55.2%.

“Likewise, the Pongolapoort Dam which is responsible for the supply of water to the far northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal has also dwindled slightly from 43.3% last week to 43.1% this week,” read the statement.

Mhlathuze Water’s CEO, Mthokozisi Duze, said that the drop was to be expected because of a lack of rain during winter.

“Winter has always been a period where we have relied on the sufficient storage capacity of our dams over a period that is marked by diminished or no rainfall.

During this time there is no appreciable inflow into our dams which means that we must meet the demands of our stakeholders without replenishment to our bulk water stock.”

Duze also said that it was important to note that Mhlathuze Water operated in parts of the province that were still dealing with the effects of the crippling drought of 2015.