The average daily water usage per person per household in the region is as follows:
– Oudtshoorn: 121 litres
– George: 126 litres
– Knysna: 156 litres
– Hessequa: 168 litres
– Bitou: 180 litres
– Mossel Bay: 189 litres
– Kannaland: 314 litres
Background on the situation in Kannaland
On December 28 2018, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management Centre was contacted by the Kannaland Municipality who raised concerns that Zoar might run out of water due to Tierkloof Dam levels dropping to 10%. The Jongmansland dam, which is also an emergency augmentation dam in Kannaland, was at a level of 20%.
The municipality has also been experiencing an issue with serious challenges at its water treatment facilities, which are not equipped to deal with the poor quality of water from both of these dams and purify it to the standard of drinking water. Calitzdorp struggles with similar problems with the water from Mel’s Dam.
The GRDM Disaster Management Centre has advised the Kannaland Municipality’s Technical Services to lower the pressure from main water reservoirs supplying water to Zoar. The goal is to lower water usage in the area to 70 litres per person per day.
GRDM Disaster Centre provided three 5 000-litre water tanks to be placed at the higher situated areas in Zoar, which would be first to be affected due to the pressure reduction in the system. In addition, 25 884 litres of bottled water were also provided to be distributed to affected residents.
Urgent measures needed
On January 17 2019 the Head of the GRDM Disaster Centre Gerhard Otto joined the Kannaland Mayor, Cllr Magdalene Barry and Kannaland Municipal Manager Reynold Stevens to meet with Zoar community leaders in order to discuss Kannaland’s water situation and the drastic steps that would have to be taken to reduce the town’s water demand.
It was agreed by the parties that the towns of main concern are Zoar and Calitzdorp. Steps will be taken to ensure water augmentation is prioritised and put in place for the two towns.
Following this, a meeting with Provincial as well as National stakeholders was scheduled for Friday January 18 2019 to decide on the actions to be taken. They determined the necessary steps as following:
– From Monday January 21 2019, the Kannaland Technical team implemented water-shedding in Zoar as its usage needs to be reduced from the current 1 400 000-million litres of water per day to less than 350 000 litres per day