Crisis as East Cape drought deepens

Patensie, Hankey could soon run dry, Bay dam levels at record low Fears over the Eastern Cape’s crippling drought predicament have escalated alarmingly as two towns near Nelson Mandela Bay run out of water fast.
The two towns most at risk of running dry were named as Patensie and Hankey, which both fall under Kouga and have just about used up their official water-use quotas for the year after just six months.
Of the four major dams supplying the Bay, Kouga is at a critical 9.56% of its capacity.
She said the two towns had already almost used up their water quotas for the year ending June 2018.
“The allocation for the towns totalled about 880 000 kilolitres a year, but this was decreased to 660 000kl.
“Please use water extremely sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.” Van Lingen said boreholes would also be drilled to augment the water supply, but the geology of the area was not conducive to groundwater retention.
“These processes, including the installation of the necessary infrastructure support, are only expected to be completed towards mid-2018.” The Kouga region, which includes Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and the Cape St Francis area, was declared a disaster area in May and water restrictions and punitive tariffs have been in place since, with all residents urged to limit their consumption to 60 litres of water a person a day.
Confirming that the Bay’s water crisis had deepened, the municipality said yesterday its available water supply from storage dams was now at an all-time low.
“Last year, the mayor declared the city a disaster area in terms of the water situation, stricter measures were introduced and millions have been pumped in to improve water distribution infrastructure and clamp down on water leaks.
“Soon, the city will assist in delivering borehole water to businesses and resources will be put into monitoring those who fail to adhere to water restrictions.

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