‘Water restrictions not an indication of supply crisis’

Officials say a major reservoir supplying parts of the city has run completely dry due to hot weather.

FILE: Residents are urged to follow guidelines which prohibit the consumption of large water volumes. Picture: Free Images.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg says the implementation of water restrictions does not indicate desperation or a water supply crisis.

Officials say a major Rand Water reservoir supplying parts of the city has run completely dry due to hot weather conditions.

The City of Johannesburg, which receives its bulk water supply from Rand Water, has now been left in a vulnerable position.

Environment and infrastructure MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe says Rand Water's struggle to fill its reservoirs is affecting Johannesburg Water.

"Because the temperature today was still as high as it was over the past two days, people drew need water as soon as it kicked up then it completely dropped to the lowest levels."

She says the city has implemented level two restrictions to avoid seeing its own reservoirs running dry.

If this happens, officials will be forced to cut supply during the day.

Residents are urged to follow guidelines, which prohibit the consumption of large water volumes.

Following the City of Tshwane's decision to implement water restrictions last month, the City of Johannesburg says it will now be doing the same.

Mfikoe says the city was informed today that reservoir levels were dropping.

"We got a message this morning from Rand Water saying the level in our water reservoirs are dropping."

Officials say consumers will have to change their day-to-day water use habits.

Suggestions include ensuring dishwashers and washing machines are fully loaded, re-using bath water and taking shorter showers.

The city says it wants to avoid implementing level three restrictions which will see water supply at certain periods.

Mfikoe said, "Please reduce use of water and we ask communities and consumers to stop certain things so we can still have water available."

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service is warning that hot weather conditions are expected to continue until at least Thursday.

Temperatures have peaked at nearly 40 degrees across Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo today.

Forecaster Venetia Phakula said, "We are expecting rain on Friday. But the difference is the rain will not be significant enough to ease the drought that has been issue in certain provinces."