Pretoria – Due to insufficient rains and to avoid a water shortage in the Vaal and Orange River Systems, the Department of Water and Sanitation has reduced the abstraction of water from these systems.
The department said it has issued a necessary gazette to reduce the abstraction of water for the purposes of domestic and irrigation uses (Notice 910 in Gazette 40203).
“Due to insufficient rains and to avoid a water shortage in the Vaal and Orange River System, it has become necessary to limit the abstraction of water for urban and irrigation purposes in the catchment areas of the dams supplying the Vaal River and Orange River systems.”
The department has limited the abstraction of water from the Orange River system by all users by 10% for domestic and industrial water use, and a further 15% restriction on water used for irrigation purposes by water users of the Orange River system.
In the Vaal River System, the limit includes 15% of curtailment on urban water use and 20% of curtailment on irrigation water use.
“In exercising these powers, the department has given preference to the maintenance of the reserves, has treated all water users on a basis that is fair and reasonable, and considered the extent of the water shortages and its likely effects on water users,” the department said.
The department also noted that Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, may, according to the National Water Act of 1998 in terms of Item 6(1) of schedule 3, limit the use of water if she believes on reasonable grounds that a water shortage exists within a certain area.