“Knysna, being a water scarce area, is extremely vulnerable to long periods of no rain since it largely relies on water from its rivers.” That was what was stated in a report to the Knysna Municipality’s Section 80 Governance meeting held February 24.
Water security is considered to be when there’s a holding dam containing a minimum of a 6-month water supply. It was stated that a Knysna has never had that capacity, the problem amplified by the recent increase in houses.
Currently, there’s only 71 days water storage and this is at risk of dropping.
- The Akkerkloof Dam, Knysna’s main reserve, is down to 37%, constituting 28 days water at the average of 12ml/day.
- The Glebe Dam is at a shocking 5%, containing only poor quality water which in resulted in the stopping of pumping on Feb 16 so as to avoid damage to the system.
- The Sedgefield Desalination Plant and the Knysna Reverse Osmosis Plant requires R4.15-million in more repairs.
- The Gouna, Karatara and Knysna river flows are so low (only 2mm over the weir) that if it drops further, water supply will only be able to run every second or third day.
- The situation in Buffalo Bay is critical as there is no flow of water over the Goukamma weir.
It was requested that Local Law Enforcement be put on HIGH alert (capitals were used in the report) to enforce water restrictions. The overall situation was described as “extremely stressful”.