Section 2 B Water Restrictions in terms of the George Municipality Drought Management Policy were lifted with immediate effect for George following an Ordinary Council meeting held yesterday 25 March 2021. Water restrictions were implemented in June 2017 when the Garden Route Dam level dropped to below 60% and these have remained in place due to a number of reasons including a national water scarcity.
The completion of the raising of the Garden Route Dam Spillway and associated works in December 2019 increased the capacity of the dam by an estimated 25%, together with the revoking of the declaration of the National Drought Disaster classification in July last year, and the current status of the level of the dam allows for the water restrictions be lifted for George.
On 15 March 2021, the Garden Route Dam (GRD) level was at 99.74% in terms of its capacity before the construction of the new spillway, and at an estimated 79.80% in terms of the new capacity. The new capacity of the Garden Route dam will be confirmed by Department of Water Services, once the dam basin has been re-surveyed and the new dam levels calibrated. George received good rainfall following the completion of the project and although the new spillway has not overflowed yet, the level of the dam has stayed above the old spillway level since September 2020. The George area received about 145mm more rainfall than the annual average for 2020. The average daily water demand for 2020 in George was 27.76 Megalitres per day.
Similarly, the Haarlem Dam although on a dam level of 10.49% for March 2021, this level equates to a volume of 480 Megalitres. The water registration for Haarlem is 230 Megalitres per year and the average yearly water demand for Haarlem is 155 Megalitres.
The level of the Uniondale Dam is currently estimated at 30% and the water flow at the abstraction point at Holdrift in the Kamanassie River is reportedly normal for this time of year. The weir area is at present silted up following heavy rain in February 2021 and this area needs to be cleared to improve flow to the Uniondale Water Treatment Works. The arrangements for authorization to do so are under way with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP). However, given the current situation, and prevailing weather conditions in Uniondale, Council has approved the implementation of Section 2 B water restrictions in Uniondale with immediate effect.
The activation of the different water restriction levels stipulated in the George Municipality Drought Management Policy is based on the level of the Garden Route Dam and this policy was drafted before the Uniondale and Haarlem areas were incorporated into the George Municipal area of jurisdiction. Due to the different prevailing weather conditions and the different water sources for these areas, the George Municipal Drought Policy will be reviewed and updated to include and make specific provision for the Uniondale and Haarlem areas. Simultaneously, the George Municipality Water and Sanitation Services By-Laws and the George Municipality Water Services By-Law to Limit or Restrict the Use of Water will be reviewed and updated in line with the policy.
The right of access to basic water supply and sanitation is a basic right for all communities and it is the responsibility of the George Municipality as the Water Services Institution to take reasonable measure to ensure these rights.
The immediate measures to be adhered to are as follows: SECTION 2B UNIONDALE
- The mechanical irrigation of gardens is prohibited
- Gardens may only be watered between the times of 19h00 to 21h00. Garden hoses must be handheld only.
Mondays and Thursdays for even numbered households ONLY
Tuesdays and Fridays for uneven numbered households ONLY.
- The irrigation or watering of all sport fields is prohibited. Exemption from restrictions in the following instances only: golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches which may only be watered between 19h00 and 21h00.
- The washing of vehicles with a garden hose , except by a commercial enterprise whose business it is to wash cars, is prohibited.
- The cleaning of any area by means of water is prohibited.
- The filling of swimming pools is prohibited.
- Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used, the appropriate notice shall be displayed on the premises.
Report water leaks and burst pipes to 044 801 9262/66 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.
UNIONDALE/HAARLEM report to 044 752 1024 or after hours at 044 801 6300