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Water Dept Says Load Shedding Severely Impacts Water Supply

The Water and Sanitation Department’s director-general Dr Sean Phillips said the high stages of load shedding have had a severe impact on the supply of water in some municipalities in Gauteng.

This comes as several municipalities, including the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane, have been experiencing a wide variety of water challenges recently.

Phillips said the high load shedding stages mostly affect communities in high-lying water areas.

He explained that because municipalities use electrical pumping systems to fill up their water reservoirs, when there are power cuts, there isn’t enough pressure on the gravity-fed system for the water to reach those areas.

“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much response from the people in low-lying areas. So they have kept using excessive amounts of water, which means people in the high-lying areas haven’t had any water,” said Phillips.

He added that discussions with Eskom have revealed that it would be difficult to exempt key pumping stations from the rolling power cuts.