20 January 2017
Water Dam Levels Continue To Drop
The current drought situation has resulted in in the level of Albert falls Dam dropping to 26.1 percent as at 20 January 2017.
A proactive decision was taken by the Department of Water and Sanitation to impose restrictions to the greater Umgeni River system by 15 percent which has not been achieved for domestic, industrial, commercial consumers and 50 percent for farming and irrigation with the effect from December 2015.
EThekwini Municipality had requested for the relaxation of the restrictions during the festive season to cater for the increased demand. This was due to an influx of holidaymakers to the City.
However, the demand exceeded the supply during this time, thereby causing a strain on the water network system.
The 15 percent curtailment was reinstated on Monday, 16 January 2017. The net effect resulted in Mt Moriah Reservoir running dry after feeding 16 reservoirs downstream of it.
The following is the names of reservoirs and the areas that are supplied and affected:
• Mt Moriah Reservoir - Pinetown CBD, New Germany Industrial, Parts of Westmead, Ashley, Sarnia, Paradise Valley
• KwaNdengezi Reservoir - Kwandengezi and Coffee Farm
• Tshelimnyama 3 Reservoir - Tshelimnyama, KwaNdengezi, Dassenhoek, Kwalinda, Emansenseni and Stockville
• Tshelimnyama 2 Reservoir – Tshelimnyama
• Tshelimnyama 1 Reservoir - Tshelimnyama, Mpola, Thornwood, Marian Park, Pine View, Mariannridge, Nagina, Birchwood Park and Madiba valley
• Intake Reservoir - Klaarwater, Luganda, Intake, Khoselini and Welewele
• Birch Road Reservoir - Mariannridge Industrial Park and Nirvana Hills
• Washington Heights Reservoir - Umshinini, St Wendolins Ridge, Phumuphele and Savannah Park
• Berkshire Downs Reservoir – Clermont
• KwaDabeka 1 Reservoir - KwaDabeka and Wyebank kwaDabeka Clinic, KK hostel and Old age home
• KwaDabeka 2 Reservoir – KwaDabeka
• KwaDabeka 3 Reservoir – KwaDabeka
• Wyebank Reservoir - Wyebank, Molweni, Fannin Road, New Germany, Motalabad and Kwadabeka
• Methven and Mountain Ridge – Westville
• Club House and Hocking Place - Westmead
This is a step-pumping system and this means that the first line reservoir has to reach a certain level of water before pumps can start pumping to the next one. When this system is affected, it does not only affect the reservoirs but also the reticulation as well, as whatever supply that is received goes to the reticulation making building up storage to the reservoirs to take even longer.
Pinetown South which includes, Tshelimnyama, KwaNdengezi, Dassenhoek, Mpola and Savannah Park is at the end of this system and this implies that KwaNdengezi Reservoir will be the last reservoir to recover after all those before it. This is just how the system was designed and configured.
Depending on where the consumers are in relation to their reservoir zone whenever there are interruptions in the system, high level zones or those residing next to the reservoir will be the first to run out of water and those in the low level zone will be the last. When water is restored the low level will get water first, the system will fill up and the high level will get water last.
The question of rolling out restrictions evenly in the systems is not practical as one system may achieve savings and the other may not, forcing Umgeni Water to reduce the water supply as instructed by the Department of Water and Sanitation in the gazette.
There are indications that the Department of Water and Sanitation is looking into increasing the restrictions from 15 percent, which is not being achieved, to 20 percent as the dam levels are still low and the demand has not been reduced by the consumers. This has necessitated the implementation of stage 3 restrictions.
The Municipality warns people to refrain from using the sprinklers, the hosepipes, filling in their swimming pools, washing their vehicles using hosepipes, etc, during this dire drought situation. The City will deal with illegal connections, high consumption and illegal car washes. Penalties will be imposed to those who do not adhere to the restriction rules imposed.
We urge the public to report all leaks, illegal use of water and bursts on the following platforms.
To view table explaining the different restrictions, click on the following link:
Customer Care line: 080 13 13 013
WhatsApp Fault Report line: 073 148 3477
SMS: 43554
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or