(1)(a) The total annual water allocation from the Orange River System through the Oranje-Fish Tunnel scheme that diverts water from the Gariep Dam to the Fish and Sundays Rivers to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) is 58,3 million m3/annum.
(b) The water allocation is ensured through the Annual Operating Analysis of the Orange River System as well as Algoa Water Supply System, of which the NMBMM is part of the Stakeholders Operating Forum (SOF). The NMBMM operates the relevant infrastructure that provides potable water to municipal users.
(2) The NMBM is utilising its full allocation at present.
(3)(a) The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) issued a license to NMBM to abstract a total of 58.3 million m3/a of water from the Orange River, with the proviso that the license could be reduced back to 22 million m3/a after 20 years (by 2031). However, NMBM has requested that the license be made permanent on account of its high capital investment. The potential for further allocation in line with potential efficiency savings, to be obtained along the OFS transfer route has been considered and can be considered further, depending on the success of efficiency measures introduced. An additional allocation of 18.25 million m3/a has been recommended, to be made available from water saved through efficiency measures introduced, which could potentially be developed as a Phase 4 of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme.
(b) The Orange River Project/Nooitgedacht Low-Level Scheme is one of the interventions with the following upgrades to possibly ensure increased efficiency and reduce water losses in the system that supplies NMBMM:
- Concrete-lining of the 500 km of earth canals in the Great Fish River Water User Association (GFRWUA) area of jurisdiction by the Water Users Associations (WUA).
- Improved measuring and monitoring in the GFRWUA and Lower Sundays River Water User Association (LSRWUA) areas of jurisdiction by DWS for flow measurements and the WUAs on actual water use measurements.
- Removal of reeds along the Great Fish River by the WUAs and the working for programmes.
- Optimisation of operational releases made at the Elandsdrift and De Mistkraal weirs to be implemented in a step-wise manner by DWS – this involves a revival of the existing Real-Time model.
- Refurbishment of the Darlington Dam which is currently being evaluated by the Infrastructure unit of DWS.