BY REGINALD KANYANE
THE water and sanitation department in North West said the water level in most dams has dropped. Provincial spokesperson, Katlego Mokaila said dams such as Johan Neser, Kromellenboog , Lyndlespoort and Rietspruit have declined in storage levels.
“We have already imposed abstraction restrictions on Kromellenboog and Lyndlespoort dams. This has impacted negatively on food production as these dams are used for agricultural purpose.
“South Africa receives an annual rainfall of 500 millimetres whereas the rest of the world receives 985 millimetres. In order to mitigate against the drought effects, dam operating rules countrywide have been applied to 35 dams,” she said.
Mokaila said restrictions were applied with regard to the water resource (mandatory restrictions on domestic and agricultural use).
She further added that minister of water and sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane indicated that it can take more than three years for dam levels to recover to its acceptable operating capacities.
“This was caused by the effects of a strong El Nino weather phenomenon. We also estimate that an additional 3 000 million m3 per annum of water will be needed to meet the projected demand in 2030. This will ensure adequate resources available for socio-economic development,” she said. Acting regional head in the North West, Dr Tseliso Ntili stressed that with water restrictions being imposed in dams, community participation to mitigate against the effects of drought was necessary. Ntili further added that water conservation should be a way of life for all.
“More than 3 million people were affected by drought in the province. Some of the most effective ways of conserving water in dams and streams is through the removal of invasive alien plants. They consume a lot of water and we encourage our people to avoid activities that can pollute dams and rivers. They must use the drip irrigation system. Also collaborating with community leaders in advocating for water conservation in schools, churches, clinics and the community at large will help.
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