23 October 2012
The construction of Spring Grove Dam in KwaZulu-Natal is progressing well and is scheduled to deliver its first water by April 2013 while investigations and the implementation by Umgeni Water of the planned Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme to bring additional water from the UThukela River to the North Coast Area are also well advanced.
These were among the key interventions to ensure sustained water supply, discussed at the September meeting of the
Strategy Steering Committee for the implementation and maintenance of the Reconciliation Strategy for the KZN Coastal Metropolitan Area Water Supply System.
This Reconciliation Strategy was finalised in 2009 by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in close cooperation with Umgeni Water, the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, other municipalities and stakeholders to address the water supply situation.
Various actions supporting the strategy implementation to address potential water shortages are underway. These include major infrastructure development such as the construction of the Spring Grove Dam, the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme and the raising of the Hazelmere Dam. In the short- to medium-term, measures like water conservation and water demand management, the use of treated effluent from wastewater treatment works, and the desalination of seawater are currently measures being implemented and studied in the area to deal with potential shortages.
Investigations of the feasibility of longer term options that are underway include the uMkhomazi Water Project and the Mvoti River Development. The building of dams and supply schemes are major undertakings that take time to get the required regulatory approvals, designs, funding and to implement.
The cost estimate for the raising of the Hazelmere Dam was increased due to dam safety issues related to the dam wall geotechnical conditions. An economic assessment of the raising of Hazelmere Dam compared to Phase 2 of the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme was undertaken using the revised costs.