Despite the recent rain that fell on 2 January 2017, Greater Knysna remains on Level 2 Water Restrictions. This means that potable municipal water is restricted to human consumption and businesses.
Initially implemented by Knysna Municipality on 21 December 2016, this level of water restrictions brought punitive water tariffs into immediate effect. An additional 50 percent of the approved water tariff will be applied to any consumption that exceeds 20kl/month.
“Although we are extremely grateful for the 16mm of rain that fell in Knysna and the 22mm recorded in Karatara, it is not enough to relieve the water scarcity in our area,” said Knysna Acting Municipal Manager, Johnny Douglas.
The municipality reports the Akkerkloof and the Glebe Dams as 55% and 5% full respectively, offering 37 days’ supply of water to Knysna at the recommended 8 Ml/day.
“Thankfully the water demand in Knysna was reduced from 16.2Ml/day (for the week between 18 and 25 December 2016) to 14.4Ml/day (between 25 December and 1 January), however this water consumption is still far over the recommended 8Ml/day. At this current rate Knysna’s water will only last for 33 days,” said Douglas.
Unlike Knysna, Sedgefield’s water usage increased dramatically from 2.8Ml/day for the Week 18 – 25 December, to a concerning 3.09Ml/day for the week 25 December 2016 to 1 January 2017.
“I appeal to all Sedgefield residents and their visitors to conserve water immediately.”
The Karatara and Homtini Rivers have low flow, and the Knysna and Gouna Rivers have very low flow. On 1 January, the Gouna River had no flow over its weir at all.
Greater Knysna businesses are instructed by the municipality to implement water recycling systems and artificial water features and fountains may only use recycled water.
“We are urging all resident to retrofit their taps, showerheads and other plumbing equipment with water efficient devices,” asked Douglas.
Greater Knysna residents and visitors are urged to save water wherever they can and refer to the municipal website (www.knysna.gov.za) for water saving tips.
South Africa is considered to be a water scarce country and, if the current rate of water usage continues, demand is likely to exceed supply at some point in the not-too-distant future.
“So it is imperative that all South Africans, not only our communities in Greater Knysna, improve their water conservation and water-use efficiency as a key priority. We, the Knysna Municipality would like to thank those residents and businesses who have heeded our call to save water,” concluded Douglas.