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WC Environmental Affairs Dept investigating water theft reports

Officials have received reports that individuals are attempting to extract water as it heads towards Misverstand.

FILE: The National Water and Sanitation Department released water from the Berg River Dam to the Misverstand Dam to alleviate the water crisis along the West Coast. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department is probing allegations that water is being extracted irregularly from river systems in the West Coast region.

Reports say that some farmers in the West Coast are stealing water meant for public use.

Water is being released from the Berg River Dam to supplement the Misverstand weir, which serves 22 towns in the West Coast district.

Officials have received reports that individuals are attempting to extract water as it heads towards Misverstand and illegally channelling or pumping it into private dams.

This includes attempts to channel water from the river to off-stream dams and via other illegal extraction mechanisms.

Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell says: “Our municipalities are already acting on these reports and will not hesitate to act against anyone found to be guilty of any wrongdoing. The province in experience severe drought and require delicate management of the system to ensure that all communities have drinking water.”

WATCH: 5m cubic metres of water released into Misverstand Dam

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)