Heatwave putting ‘strain’ on water in Joburg, as Tshwane warns of outages

Water supply in Joburg is stable for now but heatwave, load shedding and demand puts ‘strain’ on systems

Taps may have run dry over the weekend after Stage 6 load shedding and the heatwave wreaked havoc with Johannesburg Water’s systems, but the utility says it is currently stable and able to pump water to the city.

It told The Citizen some of the water towers in the Roodepoort area and parts of the Sandton system were affected over the weekend. Its Yeoville pump station was also off for a time due to power outages, while load shedding and high demand had left the Forest Hill tower low.

Johannesburg Water spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said the picture was looking brighter on Monday.

“While Johannesburg Water systems are currently healthy and showing an upward trajectory, the ongoing heatwave is putting a strain on Johannesburg Water’s reservoirs and towers.”

Low pressure to no water

She said pump stations and towers are impacted by higher stages of load shedding, with systems and supply zones experiencing low pressure to no water as a result.

“Johannesburg Water continues to monitor all systems and implement daily mitigation strategies to help boost supply. This includes throttling (reducing pressure and flow) in some reservoirs overnight in order to retain water and build capacity,” said Shabalala.

Johannesburg Water said its Sandton Systems Reservoirs and direct feeds will be closed overnight, from 4pm “as a water demand management strategy”.

Rabie Ridge Reservoir is currently low and supplying at 30%. Hursthill 1 and 2, and Crosby reservoirs remain low.

READ ALSO: Joburg Water blames consumers and heat for crisis, experts disagree

City of Tshwane warns of shortages

Meanwhile, the City of Tshwane said it was experiencing high water consumption, despite their calls to use water sparingly.

“The soaring temperatures have led to a substantial increase in water usage which has pushed our water supply system to its limits, putting our reservoirs under immense pressure,” said the City.

If this trend continues, it could potentially lead to serious water shortages across the City.

“While the supply may seem abundant at face value, the reality is that water is not a limitless resource. It is therefore incumbent upon every resident of the city to be water conscious to ensure that we keep our reservoirs at acceptable water levels,” added the City.

READ ALSO: Rand Water can restrict areas using too much water – here’s what happens if they do

The city urges residents to keep the following water conservation measures:

  • 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 your teeth.
  • Reduce daily water usage as much as possible.
  • Fix water leaks in your yard and report street leaks. Even small leaks can contribute to significant water wastage over time.
  • 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.

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