GEORGE NEWS - After almost four years, the water restrictions for George have been lifted with immediate effect. This follows a decision made during a council meeting last Thursday, 25 March.
When the Garden Route Dam level dropped to below 60% in June 2017, Section 2B water restrictions were implemented and remained in place.
Municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said the 25% increased capacity of the Garden Route Dam (due to the raising of the spillway), the current status of the dam levels and the revoking of the declaration of the National Drought Disaster classification in July last year allow for the lift of the water restrictions in George.
On Monday 29 March the latest dam levels were released by the office of Western Cape Minister of Local Government Anton Bredell, stating that the Garden Route Dam reached 100% capacity this week (in terms of its capacity before the construction of the new spillway).
According to Edwards-Klose the level was at 99,74% on 15 March (in terms of its previous capacity) and at an estimated 79,80% in terms of the new capacity.
"The new capacity of the Garden Route Dam will be confirmed by the Department of Water Services once the dam basin has been re-surveyed and the new dam levels calibrated. George received good rainfall following the completion of the project and although the new spillway has not overflowed yet, the level of the dam has stayed above the old spillway level since September 2020."
The George area received about 145mm more rainfall than the annual average for 2020. The average daily water demand for 2020 in George was 27,76 megalitres per day.
The picture is a bit more grim in the Uniondale area, though, with Section 2B water restrictions being implemented immediately. The Haarlem Dam reached a level of 10,49% in March, which equates to a volume of 480 megalitres.
The water registration for Haarlem is 230 megalitres per year and the average yearly water demand for Haarlem is 155 megalitres, said Edwards-Klose.
"The level of the Uniondale Dam is currently estimated at 30% and the water flow at the abstraction point at Holdrift in the Kamanassie River is reportedly normal for this time of year," she said.
"The weir area is at present silted up following heavy rain in February 2021 and this area needs to be cleared to improve flow to the Uniondale Water Treatment Works. The arrangements for authorisation to do so are underway with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP). However, given the current situation, and prevailing weather conditions in Uniondale, Council has approved the implementation of Section 2 B water restrictions in Uniondale with immediate effect."
Section 2B water restrictions: Uniondale
The immediate measures to be adhered to are as follows:
- The mechanical irrigation of gardens is prohibited;
- Gardens may only be watered between 19:00 and 21:00. Garden hoses must be handheld only;
- Mondays and Thursdays for even numbered households only;
- Tuesdays and Fridays for uneven numbered households only;
- The irrigation or watering of all sport fields is prohibited. Exemption from restrictions in the following instances only: golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches which may only be watered between 19:00 and 21:00;
- The washing of vehicles with a garden hose, except by a commercial enterprise whose business it is to wash cars, is prohibited;
- The cleaning of any area by means of water is prohibited;
- The filling of swimming pools is prohibited;
- Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used, the appropriate notice shall be displayed on the premises;
- Uniondale and Haarlem residents should report water leaks and burst pipes on 044 801 9262/66 or after hours on 044 801 6300, as soon as they notice them. George residents can report on 044 752 1024 or after hours on 044 801 6300.
The activation of the different water restriction levels stipulated in the municipality's drought management policy is based on the level of the Garden Route Dam.
Edwards-Klose said this policy was drafted before the Uniondale and Haarlem areas were incorporated into the George Municipal area of jurisdiction.
"Due to the different prevailing weather conditions and the different water sources for these areas, the George Municipal Drought Policy will be reviewed and updated to include and make specific provision for the Uniondale and Haarlem areas.
"Simultaneously, the George Municipality Water and Sanitation Services by-laws and the George Municipality Water Services by-law to limit or restrict the use of water will be reviewed and updated in line with the policy."
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