As the world gears itself for the commemoration of the 18th World Water Day on Tuesday, 22 March 2011, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) say they are on target with this year’s theme, Water for Cities: Responding to the challenge.
“In celebrating World Water Day we are pleased with the positive results our efforts in providing potable water to the city have yielded. It demonstrates our commitment to serving the City and meeting international standards on water governance. For us at EWS, responding to the water challenge in the City has not just been about bringing more water to the people but coordinating a strategic plan that reduces water loss and improves the quality of life too,” says EWS Head, Neil Macleod.
Macleod maintains that perseverance and cooperation have maintained EWS’s excellent track record in terms of service delivery and the highest figures for water sales in the City.
“Over the past months we have surveyed over 16 000 km of water pipes and repaired 28 000 leaks across the City as part of the Water Loss Reduction Program. In essence, a drop of water saved is a drop of water produced and the key to promoting water preservation begins with accurate accounting of its journey from source. Numerous water loss reduction activities have resulted in savings of over 40 megalitres of water per day being achieved”.
Macleod adds that reducing the pressure at which water is delivered to residential buildings as part of the Pressure Management Program has lowered operating costs and saved the City almost R50 million per annum. In addition to curbing excessive pressure, Macleod says that EWS anticipates the replacement of 21 000 water meters each year until every meter older than 20 years is replaced, to ensure more accurate readings.
He describes the R400 million Water and Sanitation Project which commenced in January 2009 and aims to provide access to running water and ablution facilities for residents of informal settlements throughout eThekwini, as a key project that improves the living conditions of almost 800 000 people in the City.
“The project is targeting settlements already identified by the municipal housing department for future formal housing development. In terms of meeting the challenge for water to the City, this project is invaluable. Like the Asbestos Cement (AC)pipe replacement project which was voted third in the category for innovation and sustainable construction at last year’s Construction World Awards, it is hoped that the Water and Sanitation Project will highlight EWS’s consistency. Prior to completion in June 2010, the AC Project worked all over the City , replacing 1600 kilometres of burst prone asbestos cement pipes with new modified polyvinyl chloride mPVC pipes,” says Macleod.
He includes the R1,2 billion Western Aqueduct Project currently awaiting the award for tender of Phase Two, as an equal contributor to the City’s commitment to bringing water to the people and ultimately meeting the Water to Cities challenge.
“The WA project will inject up to 400 million litres of water per day to the present consumption of the City which stands at 860 million litres per day. In addition, excess pressure contained in the pipeline will be converted into hydropower by building two electric generators along the pipeline route that will output a total of 10MW,” says Macleod.
According to Macleod, the WA project comprises of almost 74km of steel pipes welded together in 18m sections, of diameters ranging from 0.5m to 1.6m, laid from Umlaas Road to Ntuzuma within existing servitudes and road reserves.Phase One of the project will be commissioned by February this year.
Macleod concludes: “Being the most precious utility on earth, water is essential for life. This World Water Day we recommit to serve the people of our City and enhance their quality of life.”
Source: Publicity Update, 27 January 2011