Gauteng metros call on residents to use water sparingly as system faces possible collapse

Gauteng metros are battling with water supply. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Gauteng metros are battling with water supply. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 17, 2024


A Clarion call by water utility services has been made for Gauteng residents to use water sparingly as the system experiences severe strain that could lead to a total system collapse.

As of early today, Rand Water issued a statement, alongside Gauteng metros, for the municipalities to begin managing water consumption as it was currently “exceedingly high”.

The City of Tshwane Municipality, following an emergency meeting with the water utility over the weekend, said it was reported that the system was below 30%, which necessitated immediate intervention requiring the urgent shutdown of water supply to certain reservoirs in the city.

City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the city had observed the ongoing high water usage worsening the situation, on top of exceeding its limit of bulk water supply allocation.

“Residents are therefore requested to assist to avoid the system collapse by using water wisely, sparingly and when it is absolutely necessary.”

The Johannesburg metro, which has also been battling with water shortages in recent weeks, said the persistent heatwave in the past few weeks had resulted in high demand, which was currently outstripping supply.

The metro reported that the natural weather climate coupled with water demand had led to the bulk supplier’s reservoir levels declining to “undesirable rates”.

Rand Water has held joint operations committee meetings with the affected municipalities, which include the Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni municipalities, over the past few months in an effort to find strategies and solutions to the issue of high demand.

Even with Rand Water pumping and supplying water, the municipality said increased demand on the entire system had resulted in reservoirs being unable to maintain capacity.

“Johannesburg Water technical teams have been working behind the scenes, implementing daily internal interventions to mitigate the situation and improve water supply to its customers. As such, the entity urges the City of Johannesburg’s residents and businesses to work with us in reducing water wastage by at least 10%.”

As a result of the water challenges, the city announced it would continue to implement the city’s level 1 water restrictions, effectively prohibiting the watering of gardens between 6am and 6pm and the washing of paved areas and driveways using hosepipes.

On an annual basis, between September 1 to March 31, the Johannesburg metro implements level 1 restrictions in a bid to mitigate against water shortages, maintain a culture of water conservation, and ensure a sustainable water supply during Rand Water’s increased demand period caused by the higher temperatures.

Both the Tshwane and Johannesburg municipalities shared some water-saving tips which include not leaving taps dripping, repairing leaking taps in households, washing cars on the grass and shortening showering time.

“It is more imperative now more than ever that we embrace a new mindset on water conservation. By adopting tiny adjustments each day, we can all have an impact.”