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financial|infrastructure|projects|pumps|sanitation|storage|water|maintenance|solutions|infrastructure

Gauteng metros continue to exceed water allocations

5th April 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Water utility Rand Water on Friday reiterated its commitment to be part of the Gauteng water provision solution, as high water consumption across Gauteng continues.

The utility is collaborating with Gauteng’s metropolitans to ensure integrated water demand and conservation management, through a multifaceted approach which includes regular meetings with mayors and daily technical team meetings.

“The aim of these interventions is to find solutions to reduce high water consumption and put measures in place to ensure uninterrupted water supply,” Rand Water said in a statement on Friday.

Gauteng metropolitans consume more than 75% of water that is produced by Rand Water and are currently exceeding their water consumption allocations owing to, besides others, consumer behaviour, which is the leading cause of high water consumption in Gauteng, as well as illegal connections, vandalism of water infrastructure and water that is lost through leaks at municipal levels.

“High consumption by municipal end-users depletes municipal reservoirs’ storage quickly owing to demand exceeding supply. We provide more than enough water to Gauteng metropolitans . . . We distribute an average of 4 642-million litres of water per day and our maximum capacity can reach about 5 036-million litres per day.”

This high consumption prompted Rand Water to proactively request the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to grant exemption to exceed the quota stipulated in its abstraction licence, which allows the utility to abstract raw water, at a cost, from the Vaal dam and purify it in line with SANS 241 standards for potable (clean, drinkable) water.

Once potable, Rand Water pumps it to booster stations Zwartkopjes, Palmiet, Eikenhof and Mapleton, before being distributed to the utility’s 60 strategically located reservoirs; including the recently launched high-tech 210-million-litre-capacity Vlakfontein Reservoir, after which, the clean water is then pumped to municipal and industries’ reservoirs, which then reticulate it to individual households and their other customers.

“As an organisation, we have a solid Asset Management Strategy which provides a focused approach to managing technical maintenance, asset lifecycle and maximise the value and advantage of our assets. We conduct two types of infrastructure and asset maintenance - proactive and unplanned. Our proactive maintenance ensures that we preserve the quality and increase the life span of our infrastructure and assets while minimising maintenance costs in the long term.”

Part of Rand Water’s Asset Management Strategy is to continuously review, update and cost its Infrastructure Development Plan. The current plan is costed at R28-billion.

Rand Water’s maintenance of its current infrastructure and its investment in new capital projects include two major infrastructure projects, namely Phase 1 of the Station 5A water treatment plant, which delivers 150 000 m3/d and will be extended to provide 600 000 m3/d capacity by the end of 2024, and the 210-million-litre-capacity Vlakfontein Reservoir, which is the largest cylindrical post-tensioned reservoir in the world.

The completion of these projects affirms Rand Water’s status as the supplier of the largest volume of bulk potable water a day to its customers.

“Rand Water and its leadership reassure Gauteng metropolitans, all municipalities in our areas of operation and industry customers of our competence in managing our assets, including maintenance and upgrading of our assets and infrastructure to ensure that we meet current and future water needs of our customers.”

Rand Water highlighted that it was part of national and international organisations that provide research and oversight on water-related matters, a collaboration that ensured standards were reviewed by independent bodies in the sector.

“Most of these organisations have affirmed and recognised our standards as exceptional and adhering to South African and international standards. The recent recognition came from the Global Water Intelligence Organisation (GWIO) which nominated Rand Water as one of the top four (4) water utilities in the world to receive the 2024 Public Agency of the Year Award. GWIO oversees global research on water utilities’ performance in terms of water quality, financial and infrastructure resilience.”

The recognition by GWIO follows Fitch Rating Agency’s affirmation of its National Long-Term Rating of AA+ which signifies Rand Water’s stable outlook.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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