City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo


Johannesburg Zoo

 

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Joburg City Parks has committed to abiding by the level 2 water restrictions currently in place, and has urged residents to follow suit and #savewater.

City Parks limits watering, urges residents to follow suit
Johannesburg Water supplies around 4.4-million customers with a total of 1 574 mega-litres of potable drinking a day. (Photo: www.joburg.org.za)

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo has committed to abiding by the level 2 water restrictions announced by the City of Joburg on Monday, 9 November, and has urged residents to follow suit as the City's, and the Province's, bulk water systems remain under pressure.

To help lower the demand on the system, City Parks has committed to:

  • Switching off all water features in Joburg's public green spaces, including Joburg Zoo, in order to minimise evaporation during the day.
  • Ceasing all irrigation and water abstraction between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
  • Encouraging its employees to report any water leaks so that these can be sorted out as quickly as possible.
  • Suspending all planting of new trees until the drought situation has improved.

City Parks has urged residents to abide by the level 2 water restrictions currently in place, which stipulate:

  • No filling of swimming pools;
  • No watering of gardens between 6am and 6pm; and
  • No using of hose pipes to wash cars, paved areas or the like.

"Let's all #savewater," City Parks said.

'We are not out of the woods yet'

Water-wise gardening
Water-wise gardening involves using plants that require minimal water, and applying some simple water-wise principles. See our quick guide. (Photo: Green Deen South Africa)

Despite reservoirs partly filling up over the weekend, and forecasts of rain, Rand Water told Eyewitness News on Monday, 16 November that the bulk water system was still under severe pressure, and called on residents to help reduce demand on the system. Johannesburg Water receives its bulk water supply from Rand Water.

"Do not let the taps run," said Rand Water's Sipho Mosai. "Fix the leaks. When you brush your teeth, close the tap. We are not out of the woods yet. We still need to be very conservative in terms of our water consumption."

Mosai also urged communities to report any water leaks to their municipality, saying Rand Water was increasing the speed with which it responded to leakage alerts.

Water levels in the Vaal Dam, which was 67% full in August, have been dropping at an average of 1% a week, going down to 59% at the end of October. Rand Water has predicted that dam levels could drop to as low as 29.7% by January 2016 should the situation not improve.

'Reduce demand to avoid water cuts'

Press conference on Joburg's water situation
Joburg Water MD Lungile Dlamini, Executive Mayor Parks Tau, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, and Environment and Infrastructure Services MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe address the media on Joburg's water situation. (Photo: www.joburg.org.za)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, addressing a media briefing on Joburg's Water situation on Thursday, 12 November, said demand for water needed to be reduced in Joburg in order to avoid water cuts.

While the country was currently in the grips of a drought, and some areas were particularly hard-hit, Joburg's water issues were "as a result of an extraordinarily high demand, which is exacerbated by bad habits, system leaks and other issues," the minister said.

The water outages and shortages experienced in some Joburg suburbs last week were caused by an electrical fault in Eikenhof, which affected the City's ability to pump water to certain high-lying areas.

Joburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau, also addressing the briefing, urged residents to help reduce demand in order to enable the system to replenish itself.

"I urge residents to please limit the amount of water they use in gardening," the Mayor said. "Over 46% of household water supply in Johannesburg is used for gardening, and the fact we have had a lack of rain has escalated this. Please limit refilling swimming pools and using excessive water."

Saving water 'a collective responsibility'

Environment and Infrastructure Services MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe has warned that level 3 restrictions could be imposed if residents fail to abide by the level 2 restrictions. Level 3 restrictions would involve the limiting of water supply to stipulated times of the day only.

Speaking at last week's briefing, MMC Mfikoe said Joburg Water was sufficiently capacitated, and was increasing its water storage capacity by building two reservoirs in Orange Farm and Diepsloot.

While Johannesburg Water has sufficient water in storage, it remains a collective responsibility to save water, she said.

"We need to all come together and work as a community. Joburg Water has minimised its response time to limit water loss. As the City, we commit to ourselves to improving our communication with the community to ensure information on the current water status is available."

1 574 mega-litres of potable drinking a day

Johannesburg Water supplies around 4.4-million customers with a total of 1 574 mega-litres of potable drinking a day, using a network of 11 896 kilometres of water pipes, 122 reservoirs and water towers, and 35 water pump stations placed in strategic positions throughout the city. On average, it supplies 1 880 litres of water per property per day.

Johannesburg Water Managing Director Lungile Dlamini said earlier this month that the City was in the process of tabling a revised by-law to restrict watering of gardens in order to conserve water and manage demand in an already water-scarce city.

He added that Johannesburg Water, in partnership with the Borehole Water Association of Southern Africa, had produced a new series of hydro-geological maps to promote responsible or registered borehole drilling. A public announcement on this would be made soon, he said.

In addition, Joburg Water is to embark on a drive - underpinned by an educational and awareness campaign - to attend to plumbing leaks at more than 500 schools in the city under the Jozi@Work programme.

"It must however be noted that these programmes are not necessarily reactive but proactive," Dlamini said. "They have been in the pipeline for a while."