‘Water woes will not hamper festive season’
The Western Cape currently finds itself in the grips of one of the worst droughts in years.
Despite this, Knysna municipal manager Kam Chetty says it will in no way hamper the town’s summer season readiness and Knysna is definitely “open for business”.
“Thanks to the R3.1-million received from the Western Cape provincial government and forward planning, we have put several measures in place to ensure that we do not run out of water during the drier upcoming summer season. We therefore encourage and welcome visitors to Greater Knysna.
The municipal technical team has several short-term interventions in place to assist with the current water scarcity. These include the Charlesford pipeline construction that will, once completed, increase the pumping capacity to Knysna’s off-channel Akkerkloof Dam.
Greater Knysna further makes use of alternate water resources such as Knysna’s reverse osmosis and Sedgefield’s desalination plants, the Bigai spring and numerous boreholes in both Knysna and Sedgefield.
The area recently received significant rainfall resulting in both the Gouna and Knysna rivers flowing once again. This has played a significant role in the balancing Glebe dam being 40% and the Akkerkloof storage dam 42% full.
Despite the increase in the levels of the storage dams, Greater Knysna remains on Level 3 water restrictions. This means the following:
• The use of hosepipes for gardening, washing of cars and boats and other purposes, and the use of irrigation systems are prohibited.
• Domestic consumption is limited to 20kl per household per month. Water-restricting/ management devices will be installed for transgressors.
• Areas where households receive a free basic water allocation will be limited to 6kl per household per month (200 litres per household per day).
• Business consumption is reduced by 30% on the previous year’s monthly average consumption, except car washes. Water-restricting/ management devices will be installed for transgressors.
• The construction industry, car washes and nurseries must use alternate water source.
• Stage 2 drought tariff is applicable.
• Health and Correctional facilities to install own tanks that will be filled by municipal tanker.
• Flow restrictors be installed in all standpipes.
• Penalties will be issued for violations of any of the above.
It must be noted that according to the council resolution of 11 August 2017, the mayor, in consultation with the portfolio councillor for technical services, the municipal manager and the director of technical services approve the movement between restriction levels, and have resolved that Level 3 water restrictions remain in place.
“As the usual drier summer months are still lying ahead, we were further cautioned by provincial government not to relax our water restriction and our conservation management,” said Chetty.
In closing, the municipal manager urges residents and visitors to continue to use water sparingly regardless of the recent rainfall and the proactive measures taken by the municipality. “It is of utmost importance that the residents, business and tourists remain proactive in their endeavours to save and reduce their water consumption. I thank each and every one who is taking this drought seriously and has made water conservation part of their daily lives,” Chetty said.
“Although we are ready for the festive season, our Level 3 water restrictions remain in place and we urge everyone to adhere to these.” –