Gauteng pulls together to address looming water crisis

Gauteng's Cogta announced a joint operational centre to prepare a contingency plan to deal with the water crisis.

FILE: Coronationville residents queue for water as the water crisis in Gauteng continues to bite. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Cooperative Governance (Cogta) Department has announced a joint operational centre to prepare a contingency plan in the wake of dwindling water levels in the province.

The centre will monitor water levels, ensure restrictions are adhered to and try to avert more reductions in water supplies.

The department says the Vaal River system currently has an average dam level of 27% capacity, with the Vaal River losing water levels of about 1% each week.

At this rate, its predicted water levels in Gauteng will be at 25% by mid-November.

Department spokesperson Mogomotsi Mogodiri says: “A committee made up engineers and other experts from the Department of Water and Sanitation, Gauteng Cogta and Rand Water. The government wants to take initiative and not wait for disaster to strike.”

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service says the likelihood of a wetter early summer from this month to January has increased.

The country is battling water shortages, with restrictions announced for several municipalities to curb consumption.

A severe drought that set in last year has hit farm output, triggering imports of maize and pushing up food prices.

LISTEN: SA Weather Service forecasts above normal rainfall for summer