An appeal has gone out to Kouga residents and visitors to reduce their water usage to 60 litres per person per day.
Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said dam levels remained critical despite the recent rain and that the area could face serious water shortages over the summer months.
“The only way to make sure that we don’t run out of water is for everyone – be it the municipality, residents, business or visitors – to play their part and make sure that every drop counts,” she said.
“We would also like to appeal to parents to encourage their children to be water wise.”
She said the Kouga Council adopted an emergency plan for drought-relief disaster measures on 31 August. The plan follows on Council’s declaration of a local state of disaster on 31 May due to the drought and pending water shortages.
Steep Part C “emergency” tariffs have been in effect since the beginning of August while water restrictions were introduced in December 2016.
Mayor Van Lingen said the emergency action plan included an awareness campaign through the media as well as community and school outreaches.
“Reducing water losses through the repair of leaks is also an essential part of the plan.
“We will be pooling Council resources to fast-track the turnaround time for repairing water breaks and leaks,” she said.
She said emergency measures would include helping indigent households to identify and repair leaks, checking school ablution facilities for water wastage, investigating the top 10 water accounts per ward, undertaking a thermal inspection of bulk water lines for possible non-visible leaks and auditing valves and hydrants for leaks.
The plan further proposes several short to medium term measures to increase Kouga’s water supply.
“There is an existing borehole north of the N2 which we would like to connect to the Jeffreys Bay Water Treatment works,” Van Lingen said.
“We are further looking at using surface water north of Kruisfontein at Humansdorp to augment the supply. The potential for new boreholes at Hankey, Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay will also be explored.”
The plan further proposes the development of a desalination plant as the most viable long-term solution.
She said the costing of the plan was being finalised and that application would be made to provincial and national government for additional funds to implement the plan.
Calculating your 60 litres
The 60 litres per person limit has been in place in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro since July. Kouga receives the bulk of its household from the same system as the Metro.
The Metro has issued the following pointers to help consumers plan how to divide their daily allocation:
- A bath = 20l per 6cm depth
- A shower = 10l per minute
- Washing hands and brushing teeth, using water sparingly = 1l per day
- Flushing the toilet (place a brick in large cisterns to reduce water usage) = 6l per flush
- Handwashing in a bucket = 20l
- Making tea/coffee = 2l per day
The City of Cape Town, where residents are limited to 87l per day, has further developed a “water usage calculator” which helps to give consumers an idea of how much water is used for various activities.
The calculator can be accessed at :