XONXA DAM HOPE

Af­ter de­lays, Novem­ber might bring wa­ter sup­ply

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - SONJA RAASCH

When will the Xonxa Dam pipe­line fi­nally be­come a re­al­ity? This was the ques­tion on the lips of res­i­dents of Ko­mani and sur­round­ing ar­eas af­ter ex­tended wa­ter out­ages of sev­eral days left res­i­den­tial ar­eas dry through­out the area.

The mul­ti­mil­lion-rand pipe­line was orig­i­nally com­mis­sioned in 2012 af­ter it be­came clear that the Bonkolo Dam and Wa­ter­down Dam could no longer sup­ply the area’s wa­ter needs.

Cur­rently, the Bonkolo Dam level is be­low the mea­sur­able level of 10%, while the Wa­ter­down Dam, cur­rently the area’s only source of sup­ply, is at 85.8%.

The Xonxa Dam is 115% full. The Rep re­ported (“Xonxa Dam project set for 2017 com­ple­tion date”) that the com­ple­tion of the project had first been ex­pected in the first quar­ter of 2017, but this was then moved to later in 2017.

When this did not hap­pen in 2017, The Rep fol­lowed up and re­ported (“Xonxa Dam wa­ter sup­ply pipe­line to be fin­ished in Septem­ber”) that there had been some chal­lenges and that de­lays had re­sulted in the ex­pected com­ple­tion date of Septem­ber 2018.

Test­ing of the pipe­line had been done in June 2018.

Dis­may arose from var­i­ous sec­tors of the com­mu­nity over the past few weeks as the tem­per­a­ture rose and the wa­ter sup­ply dwin­dled.

Res­i­den­tial ar­eas have been left with­out wa­ter for days at a time and res­i­dents took to so­cial me­dia to in­di­cate their ire with the sit­u­a­tion.

The Chris Hani Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CHDM) in­di­cated in a state­ment last week that the heat wave had re­sulted in wa­ter out­ages and that wa­ter was leav­ing the reser­voirs as quickly as they were be­ing filled.

In re­sponse to the wa­ter cri­sis, the Queen­stown Civic and Ratepay­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion set up a meet­ing with the CHDM of­fi­cials this week in an ef­fort to fol­low up on the is­sues.

Tokkie Dey­sel said is­sues dis­cussed in­cluded the draw­ing up of a sched­ule by the cus­tomer care and wa­ter units to in­di­cate the times when wa­ter would be sup­plied to each area.

The sec­ond is­sue, Dey­sel said, was the launch of the Xonxa Dam pipe­line.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee was set to join a team from the CHDM on Tues­day morn­ing at 8am for an in­spec­tion at the dam.

“There­after we will have a meet­ing with the im­ple­ment­ing en­gi­neer and his team.”

Dey­sel said De­cem­ber had been set as the tar­get date for wa­ter to be de­liv­ered via the Xonxa pipe­line to Ko­mani.

No date has yet been con­firmed, how­ever.

CHDM spokes­woman Thobeka Mqamelo con­firmed that the ten­ta­tive com­ple­tion date was the end of Novem­ber if all tests had been com­pleted by then.

Con­fir­ma­tion was set to fol­low next week af­ter the meet­ing with con­sul­tants, she said.

ALL THAT RE­MAINS: The cur­rent state of the Bonkolo Dam near Ko­mani was cap­tured by Ko­mani res­i­dent Leon An­nan­dale re­cently. The image shows the sad state of the dam, once a pop­u­lar site for visi­tors, fish­er­men and boat­ing en­thu­si­asts, and one of the main wa­ter sup­ply sources of Ko­mani and sur­rounds

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