Residents of certain parts of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro have had water again since Friday after suffering from a water crisis for almost two weeks.
The metro last Tuesday announced a so-called day zero for the city, while many residents and businesses, mainly in the northern and western parts of Port Elizabeth, have been experiencing interruptions in water supply since the end of August.
Mongameli Bobani, mayoral committee member for infrastructure and engineering, announced on Sunday that residents of Beachview and KwaNobuhle have water again.
“The water levels of the reservoir that supplies water to KwaNobuhle are still low, but the metro will continuously monitor the situation,” said Bobani.
Bobani said the level of the Chelsea reservoir had earlier risen to 34% after it was only 7% full on Thursday. It dropped again over the weekend and currently stands at 14%.
According to Bobani, areas such as Malabar, Westering, Linton Grange, Sherwood, Hunters Retreat, parts of Rowallan Park, Parsonsvlei and Greenbushes that receive water from the Chelsea Reservoir had water again by Friday.
Bobani also said the areas that receive water from the Emeraldhill Reservoir also have water again. The reservoir supplies water to areas such as Walmer Heights, parts of Lovemore Park, Mount Pleasant, Miramar, Charlo, Walmer Downs, Overbaakend, Fairview, parts of Newton Park and the upper areas of Lovemore Heights.
The Emeraldhill Reservoir’s level has increased and currently stands at 38%.
Bobani confirmed that the metro sent water tankers to the areas that were sitting without water. However, residents complained about the water because it was apparently not suitable for drinking water and rather looked like greywater. The metro also provided too few water tankers to meet the demand in all the areas.
Residents were left at their own mercy and drove from neighborhood to neighborhood in search of water.
Bobani assured residents last Sunday that water supply would be restored the next day.
Bobani attributed the water crisis in particular to the residents’ high water consumption which puts great pressure on the metro’s water resources. The region has been suffering from a drought disaster for some time. He says about 290 megalitres of water are currently used per day, while the metro is supposed to use 268 megalitres or less per day.
The metro aims to limit water consumption to 250 megalitres per day in order to save water. Residents were also asked to use water sparingly.
The DA had earlier claimed that the city was losing about 46% of its processed water even before it reached the residents. About 130 megalitres of the 290 megalitres of water are simply wasted daily.
The metro repaired about 15,700 water leaks last week, which will save the city millions of gallons of water and prevent water from being lost.
Meanwhile, Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and the surrounding areas that fall under the Mnquma local municipality also announced ŉ day zero on Monday. Residents of this municipality may also no longer have running water by the end of the week and will also be dependent on water tanks.
The drought in the region is also putting a lot of pressure on this area.
According to Noni Madikizela-Vuso, spokesperson for the Amathole district municipality, boreholes in the Teko Kona area will be sunk by the end of the month, which will help improve the situation.