#DurbanStorm has positive effect on dam levels

In the Lower Mgeni system rainfall figures for 1 to 10 October were: Albert Falls 67mm; Nagle 70mm and (above) Inanda 36mm.

COASTAL areas, especially the Middle South Coast, received a total of 533mm rainfall from 1 October 2017 to present, already exceeding the average rainfall for this region in October according to Corporate Stakeholder Manager, Umgeni Water,  Shami Harichunder.

“At Durban Heights and Wiggins 39mm and 42mm were recorded respectively from 1 to 10 October. The highest rainfall in the Middle South Coast, from 1 to 10 October, was received at Umzinto. It amounted to 153mm, an estimated 85mm of which fell in three hours on Tuesday, 10 October.

“Rainfall received at other Middle South Coast stations from 1 to 10 October were: Mhlabatshane in Ugu 114mm; Mtwalume 97 mm; Cragieburn 107mm and Amanzimtoti 62mm.”

Harchunder said two of the four Middle South Coast dams – Umzinto and EJ Smith – were overflowing yesterday.

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They were at 108 per cent and 117 per cent respectively. The other two dams in the region, Nungwane and Mhlabatshane, were at 83, 66 per cent and 93, 97 per cent respectively.

This means there is adequate water to meet the full needs of Ugu District Municipality for the foreseeable future.

Staff of Umgeni Water are monitoring the situation at Umzinto and EJ Smith dams on an hourly basis in terms of Umgeni Water’s emergency procedures. At this stage there is no reason for concern.

Umgeni Water will issue notification if the situation changes drastically.

Rainfall figures for Mgeni system’s sites from 1 to 10 October were: Midmar 133mm; Spring Grove 144mm and Mearns 88mm. These sites are in the Upper Mgeni system.

In the Lower Mgeni system rainfall figures for 1 to 10 October were: Albert Falls 67mm; Nagle 70mm and Inanda 36mm. Rainfall received from 1 to 10 October at Midmar, Spring Grove and Mearns has already exceeded the average for the entire month of October.

Levels of dams in the Mgeni system as at 10 October were: Mearns 74, 08 per cent, an increase of 27, 83 per cent from the past week due to rains received in its catchment. On the same day the level of Spring Grove was 76, 17 per cent (situation unchanged from a week ago); Midmar 71, 79 per cent (an increase of 1, 24 per cent from a week ago); Albert Falls 22, 63 per cent (decrease of 0, 59 per cent from a week ago); Nagle63, 95 per cent (an increase of 2, 37 per cent from a week ago) and Inanda 58 per cent (an increase of 0, 09 per cent from 3 October 2017).

“The amount of water resources collectively available in the Mgeni system is not sufficient to meet the full demands of eThekwini, Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu municipalities. It is as a result of a protracted period of below-average rainfall in the Mgeni system and weather forecasters’ projections that this trend would continue into 2018, a decision was taken by the Mgeni system Joint Operations Committee to apply to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation for current water restrictions of 15 per cent to be extended for another year.

“This application has been approved and restrictions of 15 per cent remain in place,” Harichunder said.

“Of great concern to Umgeni Water is the level of Albert Falls – the largest dam in Umgeni Water’s operational area – which has remained consistently at below 25 per cent for almost six months. Projections are that if above-average rainfall does not occur, Albert Falls Dam could reach 15 per cent by the end of 2017.

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“It is also in this context that municipalities are being repeatedly requested to produce water savings of 15 per cent. Umgeni Water, for its part, has reduced potable water production by 15 per cent. The prevailing situation has again illustrated the need to conserve and use water sparingly.”

Rainfall received at Wiggins and Durban Heights does not make its way into dams. It is either absorbed into the groundor ultimately makes its way into the sea through river systems.

At Ixopo, 39mm was recorded from 1 to 10 October. Yesterday, the level of the local Home Farm Dam was at 91, 17 per cent – an increase of almost 2 per cent from a week ago. There are sufficient water resources to meet the full demand of the town of Ixopo.

In the north of Durban, 27mm rainfall was received at Hazelmere Dam and yesterday, the level of this dam was at 97, 21 per cent – a drop of 0,32 per cent from a week ago.

Water shortages in the Hazelmere system ended in September 2016 when the catchments for Hazelmere Dam began receiving good rainfall, resulting in the end of restrictions that ranged from 20 per cent – 40 per cent.




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Michelle Dennis

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