Welcome to our latest edition of Water Weekly, which is full of good news. As the water situation becomes increasingly stable, there is less to report on, so our weekly water news will probably become shorter in the coming weeks.
Workers are back
Makana Municipality workers have resumed their duties as of 1 April 2019. This means there will be more workers to allocate to water issues and there will be enough time for sufficient skills transfer to occur between Amatola Water and Makana municipal workers.
As of this morning, Settlers Dam is 7.7% full. Water can only be pumped until the dam level reaches the 7.4% mark, which is anticipated to be by mid-April.
Drought funding released
Makana Municipality put in a request for drought funding towards the end of last year, and these funds were released last week Friday. Many of the service suppliers who have been assisting Makhanda (Grahamstown) during the water crisis have been working tirelessly without getting paid over the last few months. The municipality is pleased that they can finally pay these hard-working organisations their due, and they can launch into many of the tasks that were delayed due to a lack of funds.
Waainek and James Kleynhans Water Treatment Plants
Amatola Water continues to make great progress on the town’s water treatment plants. They have been brought on board to build on the operation and maintenance of the water treatment plants from disaster management consulting company MBB.
James Kleynhans is operating at full capacity plus 20% to ensure the maximum amount of water can be treated (10 Megalitres a day). This extra 20% is made possible by the recent refurbishments. Waainek is still in need of a fourth filter, which is scheduled to be installed by 3 April. However, Waainek is currently only running at 50% due to the low water levels in Settler’s Dam, even though it has the capability to run at 80%.
Getting water from East to West
The pump station which will run water from the East to the West side of town will be ready by the end of the week. Intermittent water flow and supply will continue, as throttling is being done to ensure high-lying areas also receive enough water.
There is a borehole strategy and coordination meeting taking place today, where the municipality will make decisions about how the water distribution system will work, given all the boreholes that have been drilled since the previous water disaster plan. They are considering the validity of the borehole water being integrated into the town’s reticulation systems. More on this next week.
The Rhodes University community is reminded that it is not “business as usual”. We are in the throes of a significant water crisis and only if everyone does their part, will we overcome this. The good news is that the money and resources allocated to the improvement of city’s infrastructure will ensure that we will shortly have one of the most stable water systems in the country.
Thank you for working through these difficult times with us. Please keep the conversation about #SaveOurWater going at firstname.lastname@example.org.