South Africa: Fears Over State of Nelson Mandela Bay's Water Lifeline As Its Biggest Supply Dam Falls to 7 Percent


Nelson Mandela Bay's combined dam capacity has fallen to below 20% and its biggest supply dam has dropped to 7% as the municipality considers tighter water restrictions. While the municipality has always insisted that a water canal bringing water from the Gariep Dam will be the city's lifeline if the dams run dry, fears are being now raised over the stability of this structure that failed catastrophically in 2017, but was given only a temporary fix.

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is considering imposing stricter water restrictions as the combined dam capacity for the metro has now fallen below 20%. The Kouga Dam, the biggest supply dam providing water to Port Elizabeth and surrounding towns including those in the Kouga municipal area, is now at 7%.

The city is relying on a lifeline provided by the Nooitgedacht Scheme, bringing water from the Gariep Dam, that can provide 50% of the metro's water. On Tuesday, 7 July 2020, Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu said she will investigate why repairs to the canal that collapsed in 2017 never progressed past temporary fixes. Municipal teams were also on site, working on a burst pipeline from the Nooitgedacht water...

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