Makana dams reach critical levels


Makana Municipality has warned that dam levels in Makhanda West (Grahamstown) are at a critical level, despite recent rain.

The municipality said as of measurements on Monday April 8, the Howiesonspoort Dam level was at 29.3% and the Settlers Dam at 7.6%. 

“When the Settlers dam level is at 7.4% it will not be possible to extract water, however pumping from Howiesonspoort to Waainek Water Works will continue until those pumps start cavitating as well,” the Makana Communications Office said.

“Thereafter, the Waainek Water Works that is supplying water to Makhanda West would not be able to produce water for residents in the west.

“It is anticipated that by end of April 2019, no water will be produced by Waainek.”

The municipality said it had put measures in place to curb water usage and to manage the scarce resource in the west.  This includes reducing water flow between the reservoirs in the west to ensure that residents receiving water from the high-level reservoir and those receiving from the intermediate and low reservoirs, received water on a rotational basis for the past six weeks.

“These measures could however not prevent water drying up in the dams as a result of the drought.  Numerous calls were made by the municipality, urging residents to save water and reduce water usage to 50-litres per person to a maximum of four people in a household.  Despite the urgent call by the municipality water usage has not reduced and is currently standing on 200 to 220-l per person,” the communications office said.

The municipality said the James Kleynhans Water Works is now producing at full capacity and it is possible to augment water supply to the reservoirs in the west, once Waainek cannot produce any more water.  But this will not address the water shortage that Makhanda is going to experience as James Kleynhans is producing 10ML per day, while water usage in Makhanda is 18ML per day.

“Water rationing will commence,” the municipality said. 

JoJo tanks will be put up in strategic areas and these tanks will be filed by water from the boreholes already drilled.  Residents will be able to get water from these JoJo tanks on the days that their area does not have water.

Update on Makhanda water crisis from Makana mayor

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