Blue Scorpions called in as Waterberg District faces its own Day Zero

Dept to conduct validation and verification of commercial water users

Blue Scorpions called in as Limpopo municipality faces its own Day Zero

14 March 2018

Polokwane - The Waterberg District in Limpopo is facing its own Day Zero, with just 49 days of drinking water left.

The Department of Water and Sanitation says it will deploy the Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI), better known as the Blue Scorpions, to the area to conduct validation and verification of commercial water users.

In the past month, water levels at Donkerpoort Dam and Frikkie Geyser Dam have plunged to 14% and 12% respectively.

Severe water restrictions are already in place, with the local Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality reducing the amount of water that everyone is allowed from 125 litres to 97 litres per person per day.

In addition, the municipality has put aside R18m for the replacement of its ailing water infrastructure.

Departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said they wanted to satisfy themselves that there was compliance as resources dwindle, and wanted to educate locals about the importance of water conversation.

"We also want to educate our people to reduce consumption and save the resource from running dry."

Ratau said the department’s hydrologists had tested an estimated 105 boreholes in Vaalwater, Zandrivier, Roedtan, Byzonder, Hartebeest and Nooitgedacht.

"They found that an estimated 90% of these are high-yield boreholes that are privately-owned," he said.

Although most farmers had registered their boreholes in terms of the National Water Act, some had exceeded their water allocation, which is stipulated in their water use licences, Ratau said.

He warned that action would be taken against those found to be flouting the regulations.