Water restrictions lifted in Gauteng with immediate effect

 ·2 Nov 2022

Water utility Rand Water has lifted water restrictions in Gauteng following a stabilisation in reservoir levels – effective immediately.

High levels of consumption brought on by high temperatures, compounded by load shedding’s knock-on effects on water infrastructure, led to water restrictions in South Africa’s economic hub in October.

Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekuhuleni experienced dry taps for weeks, with numerous areas hit with intermitted supply.

The reservoirs have now reached 60%, up from the 30% that sparked the restrictions. This is in part due to good rains and collaboration between Rand Water and the three main metros.

“In consultation with the metros, a philosophy has been agreed to which will ensure that best water management practices are left in place to ensure that systems are kept stable throughout the coming hot months,” said Rand Water in a media statement.

“Through these collaborative efforts, the metros have managed to reduce consumption and manage their own systems effectively and efficiently. Therefore, reduced consumption and lead repair will be the new order.”

Rand Water is a bulk supplier of water to the region. Water from the Vaal dam integrated system is purchased from the department of water and sanitation.

After that, it is purified before being pumped to several water reservoirs spread over four provinces, including all of Gauteng’s municipalities.

While the water restrictions by Rand Water have been lifted, municipalities in Gauteng say the crisis is not over.

“The reality is that water scarcity challenges in Gauteng are not likely to go away anytime soon. In light of this, we are now working to maximise our own water-generation capacity,” the City of Tshwane said.

“This is where the City of Tshwane is in a unique position. Unlike other Gauteng metropolitan municipalities, the city has the resources and capacity to improve its own water-generation capacity and possibly reduce its reliance on Rand Water.”

Currently, the City of Tshwane produces over 100 megalitres of its own potable water daily and purchases around 700 megalitres per day from Rand Water. This means that, overall, the City produces around 12.5% of its own water per day.

It said it has the potential to produce over 40% of its own water by optimising currently available resources.

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