When Day Zero was first mentioned a few short years ago, it was a terrifying prospect that Cape Town could be the first modern major city in the world to run dry. It was averted by stringent water saving methods, many of them still in play even though the dams in the Western Cape are healthily full at the moment.

Our Day Zero in the Eastern Cape is now close to a certainty. Kouga will run out of water if we continue this trajectory. The situation is dire, and it is widespread. The Kouga Dam is on 3,98%, and should it get below 3%, it will become impossible to draw water from it. There are no significant rainfalls expected in the catchment area for the next two weeks. When this happens we will be reliant on borehole water supplies.

While some of us have Jojo tanks and water storage devices installed, many people don’t. This water shortage will have a crippling effect on these people.

Similarly, the knock-on effect of a farm ceasing to operate due to lack of water would be job losses, and no crops, causing a food shortage. Drought in this area will be absolutely disastrous.

We are currently on a 50-liter rationing per person per day. This has been broken down into a possible daily per-person consumption scenario.

Drinking water – 2l per day.

Cooking – 2l per day.

Daily hygiene – 2l per day

Showering (2 minutes) – 15l.

Dishes and laundry – 17l.

Toilet flushes (2 daily) 12l.

The Kouga Municipality issued a statement on Tuesday, 22 June. They stated that they would be forced to consider water rationing in the greater St Francis area should residents not immediately cut back on water usage. This means that water will only be available from taps for a few hours per day and will be shut off for the remainder of the day.

According to information released by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Tuesday, the Kouga Dam is at 3.98% capacity, the Impofu Dam at 16.64% capacity, Groendal at 25.24% and Churchill at 19.55%.

Please note:

  • The use of hosepipes connected to a municipal supply is strictly prohibited.
  • Municipal water may not be used to fill pools, fountains or ponds.
  • Municipal water may not be used to wash paved areas, walls, roofs and buildings.
  • The Kouga Local Municipality request that all water leaks be reported via the Link mobile app or on 042 200 2200.