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Heavy rain brings relief

Heavy rains, accompanied by hail and thunderstorms on Sunday evening sparked hopes of an improvement in the dam levels of Nelson Mandela Bay.

This on a weekend in which the Bay remembered the 50th anniversary of the 1968 floods that wreaked havoc in the city.

Welcome rain of about 40mm was measured in the catchment areas, but at time of going to print on Monday, the dam levels were not yet available.

This rain follows on a spike in the use of water in the metro due to the 2018 Isuzu Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

The drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay faced tougher water restrictions over the last few months when dam levels dropped to an all-time low of 20% of total combined capacity. This resulted in the daily usage of 50 litres per person per day.

Nelson Mandela Bay’s total combined capacity of water supply dropped to 17.95% as on August 29. The capacity was 18.2% in the previous week.

Approximately 16 000 visitors set foot in the city ahead of the 2018 Isuzu Ironman 70.3 World Championship, to gear up for the triathlon which was held this past Saturday and Sunday.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, confirmed that the municipality has taken every possible precaution to prevent excessive amounts of water consumption during the Ironman World Championships.

“The municipality continues to worry about the water levels.

“Efforts were made through the hospitality industry to make sure that water was saved.

“Three water tanks with recycled water were placed along the beachfront to supplement the shower systems for the athletes and the spectators.

“Also, messages about ways and means on how to save water were put in all hospitality establishments,” Mniki said.

On Monday morning the Kouga dam was at 6.76%, Churchill dam at 16.27%, Impofu dam at 27.55%, Loerie dam at 85.55% and Groendal dam at 39.18%.

On Friday, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality also sent out a warning to all water consumers that those who have consistently been using more than 15kl per month will be restricted or limited to a maximum of 500 litres per day as from Monday.

Mniki said the municipality will install water restrictors to heavy water users that have already been warned more than once.

On Monday morning the Kouga dam was at 6.76%, Churchill dam at 16.27%, Impofu dam at 27.55%, Loerie dam at 85.55% and Groendal dam at 39.18%.

According to Garth Sampson, client liaison officer for the South African Weather Service in the Eastern Cape, some good rains were recorded in the Bay’s catchment areas on Sunday and Monday.

At 08:00 on Monday, September 3 a total of 42.2mm was measured in Patensie while Kareedouw received 40mm of rain, Joubertina 32.2mm and Kouga dam 30mm. There were 49.6mm of rain recorded in Swartkops, PE, while 44.4mm were recorded at Riverstone Bridge, 40.8mm at the PE Airport station and 32.2mm at the 3rd Avenue Dip.

The SA Weather Service is also forecasting an 80% chance of rain for tomorrow and Friday.

Rain is forecast from this afternoon (Wednesday).

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