At the Knysna Council meeting held on July 31 2014, Councillor Louisa Hart, who is also the Chairperson for Planning, Development & Infrastructure, delivered a status quo report on the water supplies for the greater Knysna.
The Karatara dam is 100% full and Glebe at 90%. Akkerkloof Dam may only be at only 60% but it should be noted that the dam spillway was raised, giving it greater capacity.
Despite the relative health of these dams, there are areas of great concern. Rainfall has been minimal and all rivers (Karatara, Goukamma, Knysna and Gouna) are recording low flow. Of particular concern, is the “very low flow” of the Homtini River. In Hart’s home area, the Sedgefield desalination plant is running in preservation mode whilst repairs are underway. The reverse osmosis plant in central Knysna is also in “preservation mode’. Both of Knysna’s boreholes are currently out of operation whilst the pumps are being repaired.
Hart stated that, “Water preservation is of the utmost importance.” Stephen de Vries, the ANC Chief Whip, agreed with her, saying that, “We could be heading towards a very difficult period.”
Hart reminded that, “Water restrictions are still in place and should remain in place.”
Knysna’s citizens should recall the severity of the last drought and be mindful not to waste water. The scramble for water was well documented. Monitoring of the public seems to have been absent the past year – the Knysna Municipality needs to enforce the law.