South African water utility urges consumers to use water sparingly

Persistent high temperatures and a lack of rainfall has urged major South African utility Rand Water to urge its customers to cut back on water usage...

Gauteng Sa

Gauteng Sa

Persistent high temperatures and a lack of rainfall have urged major South African utility Rand Water to urge its customers to cut back on water usage.

In a statement issued by the utility at the end of October, consumers were told that they must “use water responsibly and sparingly”.

The lack of rainfall in Gauteng, together with the high water demand is expected to cause “localised problems in the City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality”.

The Vaal River system supplying water to Gauteng is currently standing at 58.9%, with the Rand Water board aiming for the capacity to be between 60-80%.

Earlier this week the Gauteng Water and Sanitation Forum adopted a “6-pillar mass communication campaign” to encourage its community to save water.

The six pillars included: intensify water leaks campaign; water harvesting during times of rain; improve supply and production through capacity upgrades; uninterrupted water supply to all essential service facilities, including hospitals; Eskom to ensure no power cuts/shortages or load shedding to Rand Water facilities responsible for pumping water and educating communities on efficient water use and preservation.

Nomvula Mokonyane, water and sanitation minister, said: “South Africa is amongst the 30 driest countries in the world. The country must change its water consumption patterns as we are facing serious water shortages and demand. I’m again making a plea to all South Africans to have a hand in saving our water resources and it will take the collective commitment and responsibility by of all of us to make us a water saving and conserving country.”

Serving 12 million residents, Rand Water’s network includes over 3000 km of large diameter pipelines and 58 service reservoirs.

Low rainfall has been linked to El Nino, a global weather pattern that can cause dry conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.

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