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Water restrictions in Umsobomvu
Midrand, Nov. 25 -- The department of water and sanitation has imposed water restrictions on Umsobomvu municipality amid the prolonged drought and insufficient rain in the region. The municipality said the department had instructed the municipality to effect a saving of 15% on water abstracted from the Orange River. The restrictions, which are to start next month, are one of the government's initiatives aimed at addressing the effects of the drought in the province, especially in far-flung areas. Northern Cape was among the provinces that were declared to be in dire need of water and Umsobomvu is the second municipality after Sol Plaatje to implement water restrictions on businesses and households. "Residents are informed that water restrictions have been approved by the council which will be implemented as from December 1," the municipality said in a statement. The municipality said water would be cut off from 10pm to 5am daily and residents are asked to use water sparingly and to irrigate gardens and use water in a discerning manner to prevent wasting it. Mayor Simon Toto urged community members to abide by the restrictions so that water could be restored for the benefit of everyone. "The saving effected by the measures will constantly be assessed and if the savings are not sufficient, stricter measures will be introduced, which might include penalty tariffs," he said. Residents, who are bound to be affected by the restrictions, are from Colesberg and Norvalspont, while Noupoort community members, who rely on boreholes, have not been spared from the restrictions. The department has asked municipalities to impose water restrictions, especially where water usage seems to be high in the province. "Even though there has been a slight increase in dam levels, the department of water and sanitation wishes to advise community members and industries to adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities," departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said. Ratau said it would take time for dams to recover as the country had experienced droughtfor a long time. Farmers from different organisations in the province have called on the government to intensify their assistance to small emerging farmers during the drought period. The departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and rural development and land reform has allocated R25m to the provincial government to assist drought-stricken areas. On Wednesday, a report by statistician general Pali Lehohla revealed that the provincial government was well on course in delivering services especially much-needed access to water. Lehohla said 99.1% of households in the province had access to water sources, which he said was an improved number compared to other provinces.