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The department of water and sanitation has called on the Eastern Cape to double down on its efforts to reduce the manner in which it consumes water and save the available water resources.

A weekly report released by the department paints a very bleak picture of the available water in some areas of the province.

And has shown a consistent decline of major dams, with Butterworth already on Day Zero.

The province has been hit by severe drought, which has resulted in the provincial cabinet declaring it a disaster.

According to the report, the provincial water storage has dropped to 49.6%, a sharp decline compared to the same period last year when water levels in the province were at 63.7%.

Areas where drought is severe include the districts of Amathole, Chris Hani, Joe Gqabi, Sarah Baartman and Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Amathole Water Supply System, with dams supplying water to Buffalo City and surrounding areas, has declined to an alarming 48.1%, as compared with the same period last when it was at 75.7%.

Some of the major dams in the system, such as Rooinkrantz Dam, declined to 33.6% last week. Sandile Dam decreased to 32.5% and Wriggleswade Dam declined to 40.1% last week.

Dams such as Macubeni, Waterdown and Oxkraal are also declining week by week.

The Algoa Water Supply System, which supplies water to areas including Nelson Mandela Bay, has dwindled to 34.9%, compared with 54.5% during the same period last year. Kouga Dam declined to 34.3% last week; Impofu Dam is at a paltry 16.6%, while Loerie Dam dropped to 48.5% last week.

“Government in all spheres, entities, sector partners, civic society organisations, faith-based organisations, businesses and schools are urged to work together in ensuring that the province does not run out of water,” said Sputnik Ratau, spokesperson for the department.

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