Groundwater news roundup (Oct/Nov 2016)

Here’s a quick roundup of what has been happening in the industry.

BOREHOLES IN TIMES OF DROUGHT: TO DRILL OR NOT TO DRILL?

Although the metro encourages residents to have boreholes installed, it was recently made clear the restrictions on outdoor use of water – including the prohibition of using hosepipes and filling swimming pools – are applicable to boreholes.

CAPE TOWN TO ENTER LEVEL 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS

The City of Cape Town has called on all residents to familiarise themselves with level three water restrictions so as not to fall foul of the law.

The city council approved the implementation of level three water restrictions on October 26, the city said in a statement on Sunday.

CAPE TOWN LEVEL 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS IN FULL FORCE

Level 3 water restrictions comes with a total ban on the use of hosepipes and sprinklers to water gardens or wash vehicles.

TSHWANE BOREHOLE USERS ASKED TO PUT UP NOTICES

Pretoria residents who have drilled boreholes at their homes have been asked to put up notices indicating this outside their gates.

JOBURG WATER REMAINS ON LEVEL 2 ON WATER RESTRICTIONS

Residents of Johannesburg will have heard that Ekurhuleni is embarking on Level 3 water restrictions from today. The City of Tshwane is also going this route in its northern suburbs. This involves cutting off the water supply between 9 pm and 5 am. Johannesburg has taken the decision to stay on Level 2 restrictions at this stage. 

WATER SITUATION IN JOBURG REACHING CRITICAL LEVELS

Parts of Joburg are struggling to keep the water flowing as reservoirs run low due to the heat, high evaporation and low rainfall.

Reservoirs in Lenasia, Northcliff, Alexander Park and Randjesfontein are running low and it’s leading to low water or no water pressure in the areas the reservoirs supply.

WATER WOES WORSEN AROUND SA

“The Vaal Dam level is at an average of 26.6% and water levels in Western Cape dams are dropping. Dams dropped by 3%,” the department says. The Algoa System, with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay, has recorded a drop from 70.1% to 69.3%, compared to 100.2% last year.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE HELPS SOUTH AFRICA MANAGE WATER BODIES

Citizen science — a model allowing non-scientists to be part of research informing policy-makers' decisions —  is helping South Africans manage the use and protection of water sources.