Water crisis deepens

SHARE   |   Monday, 05 October 2015   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
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The local water supply challenges are about to deteriorate further following reports indicating that South Africa is planning to cut off Botswana from receiving water supplements from Molatedi Dam near Zeerust, in the Northwest Province.
This comes after Molatedi Dam dropped to extremely low levels. Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) spokesperson Matida Mmipi confirmed that Molatedi dam, which is supplying the greater Gaborone area with about 4.8 million litres of water daily, is currently at only eight percent. The dam has been supplying water to the greater Gaborone for many years, based on an agreement dating back to 1988, which requires that when the dam levels are 26 per cent and above, the supply to Botswana will be at full capacity but when the levels drop to 26 per cent, supply would be cut to half the full capacity.
Although she acknowledged the fact that Molatedi dam was at its lowest and almost drying up, Mmipi refuted reports that supply to Botswana will soon be cut off. According to Mmipi they still have a standing agreement with their South African counterparts and until they reach a formal agreement, Botswana will continue to receive its designated quota. Mmipi explained that, the current arrangement requires that Botswana delegation and their South African counterparts meet annually in May and October to discuss water supply arrangement and other water related issues before resolving anything. “We are yet to meet this month, until then, the current arrangement stands. We will still receive water from Molatedi dam," said Mmipi.
The greater Gaborone water demand is currently at 145 Million Litres (ML) a day at peak demand and measures 125 Million Litres (ML) a day at average demand while the rationed demand stands at 110 Million Litres (ML) a day. The greater Gaborone region has for a long time recorded severe shortage of water in almost every corner, with some places going without water for more than two weeks. The corporation’s latest report however states that supply to most areas in Gaborone remains stable and rationing has commenced in all the fully recovered areas. According to the corporation, water supply in Tlokweng is generally low, especially on high ground, while in Mogoditshane, Gabane and Mmopane the area currently has no water.

Metsimotlhabe on the other hand is reported to be receiving supply at low pressure.  In Kumakwane the village is said to be still supplied from boreholes which are not meeting demand. Other areas do not have water. Mochudi is said to be receiving supply while bowsing continues in those areas still without supply. Lobatse according to the report has water.



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