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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Joburg Water blames heat and poor rainfall for lack of supply

Rand Water has warned Gauteng metros that the current strain could lead to a ‘total system collapse’.

Joburg Water on Sunday warned that the woes experienced by residents over the past two weeks are far from over as its systems are under “severe strain”.

Water demand more than Joburg can supply

The utility blamed the heatwave in Gauteng and low rainfall for the high demand it is experiencing.

This, it said, “has led to the bulk supplier’s reservoir levels declining at an undesirable rate, impacting Johannesburg Water and other metros”.

It added that demand is more than it can supply.

“Although Rand Water is pumping and supplying, the increased demand on the entire system has resulted in reservoirs being unable to maintain capacity.”

Joburg Water then reminded residents to use water sparingly.

ALSO READ: Joburg staring down the barrel of a catastrophic water supply crisis

However, in a column the Sunday Times, WaterCAN’s executive manager Ferrial Adam said the city’s water issues have been 10 years in the making.

She highlighted the Gauteng City-Region Observatory’s “Quality of Life” report in November 2022, which said water interruptions in Gauteng increased between 2017/2018 and 2020/2021 due to ageing and poorly maintained water infrastructure, vandalism and theft.

Adam also referenced the government’s 2023 “No Drop Report” which states Johannesburg loses 44% of its water supply for reasons such as theft and leaks.

ALSO READ: Joburg slips toward catastrophe – WaterCAN

Water system collapse?

It is not only Johannesburg that is under strain. On Saturday evening the City of Tshwane said it had been told by Rand Water to manage its water consumption.

Rand Water said the strain could lead to a “total system collapse”.

“The system is currently below 30% and an immediate intervention is required prompting urgent shutdown of water supply to certain reservoirs in Tshwane,” the city said.

Rand Water has already closed its water supply points at Brakfontein and Rooihuiskraal.

The City of Tshwane urged its residents to “avoid the system collapse by using water wisely”.

It had the following tips for residents:

  • Do not water or irrigate gardens with hosepipes or sprinkler systems between 06:00 and 18:00.
  • Do not wash cars using a hosepipe.
  • Do not clean driveways or pavements using a hosepipe.
  • Flush toilets only when necessary.
  • Close a running tap while brushing teeth.
  • Reduce daily water usage as much as possible.
  • Do not fill swimming pools from the municipal water supply. Manually topping up swimming pools is allowed only if the swimming pool is fitted with a pool cover that prevents evaporation.

ALSO READ: Joburg residents fear tanker water is ‘dirty’, making people sick

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