South Africa’s water systems are under increased pressure, but the country is not yet facing drought conditions, says water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday (28 October), Sisulu said that the recent high temperatures across the country has impacted water demand.
She added that the earliest major rainfall will likely be experienced in December, citing weather experts.
“There’s is no need to panic. We just all need to be prudent with water,” she said.
“I do acknowledge that indeed we are facing water scarcity in many parts of the country. I implore you all to use water sparingly. If we all use water sparingly, there won’t be a need for water shedding.”
Sisulu added that she will be making announcements in November on new water systems across the country as part of the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan.
The plan intends to guide the water sector with investment planning for the development of water resources & the delivery of water & sanitation services over the horizon until 2030 and beyond, she said.
Rand Water said it will institute stage 2 water supply in areas across Johannesburg from Thursday (24 October), due to high demand.
Johannesburg Water said that normal expected water supply from Rand Water is 4,370Ml/d. However, the average consumption has crept up to 4,900Ml/d forcing the water utility to take action.
“The current demand at 4,900Ml/d is unsustainable and will result in water supply disruptions,” it said.
“Rand Water is now implementing restrictions to various areas in their network to bring down the demand and this is aimed at ensuring equitable supply and system stability.
“City of Johannesburg residents are urged (to) reduce their water consumption patterns as water usage has increased at an alarming rate and this is of serious concern given the recent heatwave we have been experiencing.”
Johannesburg Water said that it has begun throttling reservoirs to between 20% – 40% in line with Rand Water restrictions.