Citizens urged to save every drop of water

Conserve water through shorter showers, tap repairs, lawn watering limits, and efficient appliances. Picture: File

Conserve water through shorter showers, tap repairs, lawn watering limits, and efficient appliances. Picture: File

Published Mar 19, 2024


Joburg Water has warned its customers that the water supply system is under severe strain as demand outweighs supply.

Residents have been asked to immediately reduce water usage as one of the reasons provided included the hot weather.

In a statement on Sunday, the City of Joburg’s water entity said the persistent heatwave has led to the bulk supplier’s reservoir levels declining at an undesirable rate.

According to Joburg Water spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala, the demand is outstripping the supply. Though Rand Water is pumping and supplying, the increased demand on the entire system has resulted in reservoirs being unable to maintain capacity.

“Over the past few months, Rand Water has been holding daily joint operations committee (JOC) meetings with Johannesburg Water, the City of Tshwane, and the City of Ekurhuleni in efforts to find strategies and solutions to address this high demand issue.

“Furthermore, Joburg Water technical teams have been working behind the scenes, implementing daily internal interventions to mitigate the situation and improve water supply to its customers.”

A week ago, thousands of residents were left without water for about five days when a power outage occurred at Rand Water’s Eikenhof pump station.

One of the feeder boards at City Power experienced a flashover, and this affected the dedicated transformer supplying power to Rand Water’s pump station.

As a result, Rand Water could not pump any water. This happened a day after a City Power transformer at the same pump station failed after it was struck by lightning.

Among the many areas affected were Soweto, Power Park, Doornkop West, Hursthill, Crosby, Crown Gardens, Aeroton, Boschkop, Honeydew, Olivedale, Cosmo City, Quellerina, Florida North, Blairgowrie, and Roodepoort.

In response to the crisis, the City has deployed water tankers to affected areas while urging residents to reduce consumption by at least 10%. Adherence to level-1 water restrictions is emphasised, prohibiting activities such as watering gardens during peak hours and washing paved areas with hosepipes.

Level-1 water restrictions also require residents to use water sparingly, especially with South Africa being a water-scarce country. Under level-1 water restrictions, the watering of gardens is prohibited between 6am and 6pm.

“It is more imperative now than ever that we embrace a new mindset on water conservation,” Shabalala said.

Tips to save water:

Do not leave taps dripping, and repair leaking taps in your household.

Wash your car on the grass as this will water your lawn at the same time.

Shorten your showering time.

Use a glass of water to rinse when brushing your teeth.

Take shallow baths and avoid filling your bath to a depth greater than 100mm.

Reuse grey water to water your garden or pot plants.