Why wait till it’s too late?
Another Day Zero is threatened. Will the world ever learn?
The news is that Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa will run out of water within 2 months.
With Cape Town’s experience being so geographically close, it seems surprising that lessons haven’t been learned.
It appears to be the usual story of underinvestment in infrastructure. A new supply scheme has been delivered with the Nooitgedacht Phase 3 project completion milestone. But getting water around the network is reliant on pumpstation operations. And with the drought, they’ve been running on overtime with stand-by pumps in use as duty pumps. This has led to several failures in pumpstation infrastructure.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Denise van Huyssteen said the city’s dams face the possibility of running dry with no significant rainfall currently projected for the area.
Usage restrictions seem inevitable.
Yet there is evidence that leaks are not being identified and fixed quickly.
As with Cape Town, the most cost-effective solution at this point would be the installation of advanced pressure management across the entire network. This would enable pressures to be reduced without imposing intermittent supply and the consequent requirement to waste water on flushing, and it would mean a reduction in open tap demand conserving valuable supply.