Cities of JHB, Tshwane & Ekurhuleni meet targets of reducing water usage

The Water & Sanitation Dept will be reviewing whether to maintain water restrictions in municipalities after May.

A gate at the Vaal Dam is opened. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Water and Sanitation Department says it will be reviewing whether to maintain water restrictions in municipalities after May this year.

The department on Wednesday conducted a site visit at the Vaal Dam where it gave an update on the levels following heavy rainfall over the past few weeks.

Residents living in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni have been placed under level 3 restrictions which has seen water being rationed between 9pm and 5am daily.

The City of Johannesburg has however kept restrictions at one level lower.

The department’s Trevor Balzer says the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni have met their target of reducing water usage by 15%.

“But we’re going to rerun our analysis and to see whether the current influx matches what we had projected.

“As of Monday, at a national level we are sitting at 50.7% which is an indication that week-on-week, from last week to this week despite all of the rain we have had we have only risen by 1.9%.”

But Balzer says this does not mean we are out of the woods and while the recent heavy rains have brought relief, we need extremely above normal rainfall for the situation to improve.

“We need another 10 rainfalls like we had in the last week to take us out of the drought system.”

The department says the national dam levels must at least be at 70% in order for a lift of restrictions to be considered.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)