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The Kouga Municipality will shortly be predominantly reliant on ground water when the Churchill Dam runs dry and Day Zero hits.
But, due to the extended drought, Kouga has been preparing for this looming disaster for years and will still be able to provide 40% of the usual reticulated water to residents.
Over the past five years, the DA-governed Kouga has spent more than R200 million on water augmentation and drought mitigation projects. A network of 38 boreholes has been created which will ensure that towns such as Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and Hankey will have water reticulation upon dam depletion. The Kouga Municipality has also completed the installation of 90% of its emergency water points.
This puts Kouga in a much better position than Nelson Mandela Bay, where 40% of the metro will have no access to reticulated water when the Churchill Dam runs dry.
The Municipality has already implemented water shedding to delay Day Zero and conserve water resources. Unfortunately, Kouga receives its bulk water from the same dams which NMB has grossly overdrawn over the last couple of months.
As at yesterday, NMB was still extracting 60 Ml per day from the Churchill Dam, twice as much as its restricted allocation. This reckless over extraction and fast-tracking of Day Zero stands in stark contrast to the responsible water shedding efforts in Kouga.
When the Churchill Dam is depleted within the next couple of days, Jeffreys Bay will have access to only 3 Ml per day, Humansdorp only 2,5 Ml, and St Francis Bay no more than 1 Ml. Communities in Hankey, Patensie and Loerie will not be adversely affected for at least the next three months as the Kouga Dam is currently standing at 12,84% of total capacity.
If Kouga residents are disciplined and continue to reduce demand, all our communities should theoretically have access to reticulated water once the major storage dams run dry.
The DA remains committed to ensuring that we provide fair water access to our communities during this difficult and trying time.
Issued by Retief Odendaal, MPL - Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader