Theewaterskloof water reservoirs running critically low due to load shedding

File image (Photo: Jaco Marais/Netwerk24 via Gallo)

File image (Photo: Jaco Marais/Netwerk24 via Gallo)

  • Theewaterskloof municipality says the ongoing load shedding has made it extremely difficult for pump stations to provide sufficient volumes of water to maintain reservoir levels.
  • The municipality warns that its reservoir levels are running critically low. 
  • Meanwhile, it says it will be focusing on enhancing water infrastructure in the area. 

The Western Cape’s Theewaterskloof municipality remains on high alert as Eskom continues to implement load shedding, resulting in its water reservoirs running critically low.

The municipality said on Friday that the high frequencies of load shedding, coupled with high water demand, made it extremely difficult for pump stations to provide sufficient volumes of water to maintain reservoir levels.

“During Stage 6 pump stations lose up to eight hours of pumping time a day. The interrupted pumping at pump stations results in reservoir levels remaining critically low,” the municipality said in a statement.

It added that in Caledon and Myddleton, water challenges occurred because load shedding affected the Overberg Water Scheme’s ability to supply the Theewaterskloof municipality with continuous water supply in its water network.

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“Although water supply has been interrupted, we have continued to provide water to residents and have had multiple trucks roaming in areas where there is currently no water or low water pressure,” it stressed.

Acting municipal manager Boy Manqoba Ngubo said the municipality had implemented extraordinary measures and maintained that the situation was under control “even though the situation is beyond our control”.

Ngubo called an emergency management meeting on Friday morning to implement contingency plans within the existing legislation for emergency situations to alleviate residents’ frustrations.

“We will be focusing on enhancing our water infrastructure on the water pipelines and reservoirs holding capacity, and this includes the procurement of generators to assist with water supply in four strategic areas,” he said.

Theewaterskloof municipality is a water service authority responsible for distribution, while the Overberg Water Scheme is a water supply authority.

“Theewaterskloof municipality can only distribute what the water supply authority can provide and, currently, the demand of water consumption by consumers is much higher than what Overberg Water purifies or is able to supply. We currently have six trucks roaming between the Myddleton and Caledon area,” he said.

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Ngubo urged residents to use water only for “essential needs”.

“With temperatures rising over the weekend and hot weather being predicted, we appeal to residents to please use water for essential needs only. Please use water sparingly when there is water in the network and do not use water to fill swimming pools or water gardens,” he stressed.