Water Crisis in South Africa
Bergrivier Municipality lodged an urgent request last year to the National Minister of Water and Sanitation, Minister Nkwinti. We requested him to sanction the release of 5 million cubic metres of water from the Berg River Dam.
Water sources across the Western Cape were running low.
The request was approved on 16 April 2018. It took seven days for the water to reach Misverstand Dam. Three towns benefitted from the water injection, which managed to push day zero back.
What is Day Zero? Simply put, when most household taps run dry."
What is Day Zero? Simply put, when most household taps run dry.
I witnessed my colleague ,Hendrik Krohn and his team, work tirelessly to find alternative water sources. They were instrumental in calculating the water left in the Misverstand Dam. We enforced water restrictions to limit general consumption. Communities rallied together to save water.
It took months for our dam to rise to a safe level. We were very lucky to receive good rainfall, which in my opinion, came unexpectedly.
We partnered with Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town to drive a “Save Water” Campaign encouraging the public to use water sparingly. On 1 November 2018, our Municipality decided to lower our water restrictions as the average dam levels in the Western Cape Water Supply System rose to 76.2%.
Water restrictions are still in place. Businesses, communities and government worked together to avoid Day Zero.
If this catastrophe taught us anything, its that we need to re-think the way we use water.
Water is life- there is no replacement!