Reservoirs throttled as water supply plummets in Tshwane

13 November 2019 - 12:28
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
The city has pleaded with residents to conserve water.
Image: 123RF/maridav The city has pleaded with residents to conserve water.

The supply in reservoirs distributing water across Tshwane through the Rand Water supply system has “plummeted substantially” and the outflow is now being throttled.

The city pleaded with residents on Wednesday to conserve water.

MMC for utility services Abel Tau said the situation had reached a “worrisome state”.

“With our reservoir levels at an average of 35%, we appeal to residents and other high-volume water consumers to change their behaviour,” said Tau in a statement.

“As a result of consumers’ failure to heed calls to use water sparingly, Rand Water has had to restrict supply throughout the city by 30%-50%.”

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Rand Water had experienced low water levels since October after two purification plants failed as a result of veld fires, an emergency shutdown after a valve malfunction, a heatwave and delayed rains.

“In light of this, the city will henceforth introduce water resource management practice. This will entail throttling the outflow valves of all reservoirs at night so the reservoirs can recover to acceptable levels for the next day, when they will be opened again [subject to quantity improvement]," said Tau.

A report by water security experts and researchers from the Gauteng City-Region Observatory and Wits School of Governance, at the behest of premier David Makhura, has warned residents to urgently change their daily consumption, Times Select reported on Tuesday.  

Tshwane residents were urged to save water by:

  • Not irrigating or watering gardens until reservoir levels recover
  • Planting indigenous or drought-resistant shrubs in gardens
  • Using a broom instead of a hosepipe to clean driveways and patios
  • Using grey water for gardens and flushing toilets
  • Reporting water leaks and burst pipes
  • Installing water-saving devices
  • Installing low-flow shower heads and tap aerators.