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RECONCILIATION STRATEGY FOR THE ALGOA WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM

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Area of supply

The Algoa Water Supply System (Algoa WSS) extends from the Kouga River system in the west to the Sundays River system in the east. The Algoa WSS provides water to the Gamtoos Irrigation Board, 1.1 million people in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) for domestic use and for use by more than 373 industries, the Coega Industrial Development Zone and several smaller towns within the Kouga Municipality area.

The water requirements of the NMBM have increased steadily over the past few years, due to in-migration, increased service levels and industrial activity.


Planning for the Algoa Water Supply System

The purpose of the Reconciliation Strategy is to determine the current water balance situation and to develop various possible future water balance scenarios up to 2040. The Strategy was initially completed in early 2010 and was subsequently updated in April 2011 due to emergency interventions planned as a result of the drought, as well as revised Coega IDZ water requirements.


Strategy Steering Committee

In 2010 the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), developed a Strategy to ensure the on-going reconciliation of supply and requirement from the Algoa Water Supply System (Algoa WSS). One of the recommendations of the Strategy Study was that a Strategy Steering Committee be formed with a clearly defined mandate and scope of work. A Strategy Steering Committee with membership from the main users and institutions in the area was constituted in September 2011.

The objectives of the Strategy Steering Committee are to ensure and monitor implementation of the recommendations of the Algoa Reconciliation Strategy, to update the Strategy to ensure that it remains relevant, and to ensure that the Strategy, its recommendations and progress with the implementation are appropriately communicated to all stakeholders.


Water requirements and availability

The total usage of water from the AWSS in 2011/12 was 149.7 million m3/a. This comprises urban use by NMBM and various small towns, Coega Industrial Development Zone potable use, agricultural water use, losses from the Kouga/Loerie canal, and ecological water requirements. The sectoral water use in the Algoa WSS for 2011/12 was as illustrated in the pie-diagram below.

 

The combined yield of the Algoa WSS sources at an assurance of supply of 98% (1:50 year assurance of supply) is 164.4 million m3/a. The above graph shows the High and Low Water Requirement scenarios when compared with the Algoa WSS water yield. It shows that there is still some surplus water in the system and that any significant increase in use would put the system at risk. Following on the recent drought, water use has not yet returned to levels before the drought, but there is a tendency for usage patterns to be relaxed and return to former levels of use once a drought has broken. The higher the growth in water requirements, the higher the risk would be, especially if large users in the Coega IDZ were to be established within the next five years. Measures to augment the yield of the system should be continued, on account of the long lead times necessary for implementation.


Supply interventions to meet future needs

The interventions which have been identified as probably feasible to increase the available supply to the supply area of the Algoa WSS are:

  1. Nooitgedagt Low-Level Scheme (which is currently being implemented)

  2. Groundwater Development – Coega Kop aquifer and Churchill Dam area

  3. Re-use of water treated to industrial standards – Fish Water Flats WWTW


Successful implementation of WC/WDM

NMBM is implementing its WC/WDM Strategy Action Plan and this intensification of the WC/WDM program is expected to result in overall savings of approximately 15 million m3/a within 5 years. DWS supports NMBM by giving significant support to the implementation of their WC/WDM Plan, and by actively pursuing the implementation of WC/WDM initiatives in other local authorities served by NMBM and the Algoa WSS, i.e. Kouga Municipality (Jeffrey’s Bay, Cape St Francis, Humansdorp, Hankey and Patensie).

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