Water department speeds up projects to avoid drought disaster

Water department speeds up projects to avoid drought disaster

- Fears of drought and insufficient water supply have prompted Lindiwe Sisulu to take action

- She has fast-tracked projects and identified key areas to help improve the situation

- Dam levels have dropped 10% since last year and SA is facing a dry, hot summer

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Lindiwe Sisulu, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, has ordered her department to implement plans to speed up projects at dams where the water levels have dropped dramatically.

In some dams, the situation is so severe that the dams are experiencing a 1% water loss week-on-week. The department has identified key areas in provinces across the country that are either facing drought or where demand for water is outstripping supply.

This revealed that stark reality that many South Africans face as water supplies struggle to keep up with demand and weather challenges.

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The latest figures released by the department reveal that dams have experienced a 10% loss compared to the same time last year, from 73.3% to 60% this week.

The department has identified a number of interventions which include completing water projects, restoring inoperable boreholes in drought-prone areas and dispatching teams to rapidly intervene in key areas.

"In the Eastern Cape alone, the department will drill and equip boreholes in drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet and bring Xonxa Dam in Queenstown online in order to supply water to the town.
"Lusikisiki is earmarked for an increase of water supply by upgrading the local water treatment works. The construction of Zalu dam will be prioritised to relieve the current water challenges," Sisulu said.

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This year South Africa is predicted to have a rain-scarce summer accompanied by high temperatures increasing evaporation levels.

The situation remains dire until the water supply can be stabilised and incomplete projects brought online.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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