Saving water has become more critical than ever, with the combined levels of Kouga’s three main supply dams having dropped to below 20%.
The level of the Kouga Dam plummeted to 22% this week, the Impofu Dam to 17% and the Churchill Dam to 12%.
“These dams have a combined capacity of 266 907Ml when they are full but are currently standing at only 49 907Ml.
“This water is used by both Kouga and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which means both areas could be facing extreme water shortages in the near future,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks warned.
He said Kouga was already charging the highest level of punitive tariffs in terms of the approved municipal budget so as to encourage residents to curb their water usage.
“The municipality has also been stepping up the enforcement of water restrictions.
“While law enforcement officers have until now mainly been issuing verbal warnings to transgressors, the situation has reached a point where fines will have to be issued.”
He said transgressors could be fined R500 if caught breaking the water restrictions. Transgressions can be reported to the Kouga Call Centre at 042 200 2200 or through the Link service delivery app.
“Law enforcement officers have, furthermore, also been ensuring that businesses, in particular car washes, comply with the restrictions applicable to them.”
Hendricks said forecasts by the South African Weather Services looked grim, with a drier than normal period expected up until May.
“While Kouga also makes use of groundwater and more boreholes are set to be connected to the supply this year, the situation is dire.
“All residents and businesses are urged to use water only when absolutely necessary and to use as little as possible when they do,” he said.
Residents are reminded that the current water restrictions prohibit the connection of a hose pipe or an irrigation system to taps supplying water from the municipal system.
Pools, ponds and fountains may not be filled or topped up with municipal water.
Washing paved areas, roofs, walls and similar structures with municipal water is also not allowed.
Residents are further encouraged to save their bath or shower water and to use this to flush their toilets.
“Every one of us has a role to play in preventing Kouga’s taps from running dry. Think twice before you use water and make each drop count,” Hendricks said.