As i blog this, the real feel temperature in Knysna is, according to two different weather reports, 38C and 44C.
In my home town of Knysna, a traditionally water scarce area (don’t let the immense forests deceive you), broken water pipes and pumps are happening far too often and there seems to be no sufficient plan to replace aging infrastructure. The Knysna Municipality isn’t communicating the real deal to the public. The problem is scarily amplified when looking at the national picture.
The public was mostly apathetic but it would seem that the tide is turning. My post for water angels, those wonderful people collecting water for towns without any water (Smithfield, Colesberg and Aliwal North ran out), was seen over 17 000 times. Looking at their Facebook, Water Shortage South Africa, it is overwhelmingly heartening that so many people are helping each other, one of those far too rare occasions of humanity living up to its name.
Coincidentally, that was one of 3 posts, involving water scarcity, to appear, consecutively, on the Love Knysna Facebook. A subscriber was quick to respond with a photo showing Brenton Haven, a seaside hotel in Knysna, illegally watering in the middle of a scorching day. When the subscriber left, one-and-a-half hours later, it was still spraying.
To their credit, the hotel responded immediately. That led me to Manager Derek Odendaal who wasn’t on the premises. He stated that he was unaware that it was happening. He was appreciative of being informed and said that he’d “make sure that all our gardening/maintenance staff knows exactly what times we can water our garden.” He gave me their street number, #198.
After the awful Garden Route drought (that ended in 2009), Knysna water restrictions are still in place. That street number is relevant. In Knysna, there are only 3 hours per week that you can water your garden. They are:
- Residents with even street numbers may only water gardens from 6pm to 7pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Residents with odd street numbers may only water gardens from 6pm to 7pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Institutions that are part of our community, such as Brenton Haven, likely only need to be made aware of a problem for it to be sorted. So please, you the public, be sure to help our town by pointing out water restrictions to those who are unaware.
Unfortunately, there will be arrogant neighbours etc. too. Please report any abuse of water to 044 302 6331. Note who you spoke to, the time and date. Do a follow-up call 30-minutes later to see if local law enforcement was dispatched. Additionally, take a photo of the offending property and add to your records. The fine is R1000.
The message, if enforced, will make itself clear. If the Knysna Municipality continues to fail to do their job, then we must address them.
In respect for our water crisis, and as a reminder to my readers, i’ve changed the colours of www.KnysnaKeep.org to blue.