NMB water security under threat due to lack of maintenance at Darlington Dam

03 Jul 2022 in Press Statements

With Nelson Mandela Bay facing Day Zero, the metro’s water security is under threat due to a lack of maintenance and upgrades by national government at the Darlington Dam in the Sundays River Valley near Kirkwood.

The Darlington Dam is of great importance as it acts as the main holding dam for water from the Gariep Dam, which the Eastern Cape receives via the Orange-Fish River Scheme.

The water from the Darlington Dam is the main supply to the Nooitgedacht Low-Level Water Treatment Scheme. The latter provides more than 60% of Nelson Mandela Bay’s potable water.

The sluices at the Darlington Dam have been inoperable for years and, therefore, the dam can hold no more than 45% of its capacity.  If the sluices are repaired, the dam could hold 100% of its total capacity, thereby increasing Nelson Mandela Bay’s water security by months. (see pictures here, here and here)

It is of the utmost importance that the Darlington Dam is able to operate at its maximum capacity, as the metro will have to depend on the water in this dam if there is a breakdown of the intricate system that transports water from the Gariep Dam to the Nooitgedacht Water Works.

The maintenance and upgrading of the dam are the responsibilities of the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

The DA will now write to the Minister of Water and Sanitation to request his urgent intervention in fixing the problems at the Darlington Dam. We will also request of him to urgently provide short-, medium-, and long-term plans to ensure future bulk water sustainability in the Eastern Cape.

The DA will fight for you so that we will never again be in this dire situation.