Chris Nair delivered a presentation on the Sustainability of the Bulk Water Supply to the Kenton on Sea and Boesmans areas. The presentation covered the background on the role of Amatola Water in the provision of bulk water supply to the area, the challenges in meeting a growing demand for potable water, some critical interventions to secure a sustainable water supply for both current and peak demand times and some environmental issues that are pertinent to the sustainability of the water supply to the Albany Coast Reverse Osmosis plant situated on Ocean View Drive.
Areas of concern included the effect of the drought on the quality and availability of fresh water from Diaz Cross for blending with water from the reverse osmosis plant, the increase in demand in both off peak and holiday season which placed the plant and raw water abstraction points under huge stress. Other concerns raised was the difficulty in getting permits approved to abstract more water from the sea wells alongside the Boesmansriviermond due to permit abstraction allocations being exceeded to meet the growing demand in the area. The connection of about 2000 more new RDP houses to the water supply network placed the already burdened water supply under threat of over abstraction. The presentation also highlighted how the effect of this growth poses a threat to the main livelihood of the town, as a holiday destination of being collapsed due to persistent water supply problems year on year.
The usual challenges with funding streams was also highlighted, which hampered the refurbishment of the reverse osmosis plant and abstraction points. However, a plan of action is in place in the form of a water safety plan, to address the risks, challenges and provides some mitigations to alleviate the challenges on hand.
Lastly, a plea was made to all residents to take note of the dire situation, especially during the peak times, that the water availability in the Kenton on Sea area is very limited and is under huge stress to meet day to day demand. It was also stressed that everyone has a duty to conserve water, employ a mindshift change in the way we utilise our available water so that the sustainability of the town can be protected and the balance between the ecosystem and human need is managed in a responsible and sustainable manner at all times.