ETHEKWINI residents are urged to use water sparingly to avert a looming water crisis in northern parts of the City due to below average rainfall in the past 15 months.

Umgeni Water, the City’s bulk water supplier, has instructed the Municipality to reduce water consumption by 20 percent in areas supplied by the Hazelmere Water Works. This is due to water levels in the Hazelmere Dam dropping to a critical level of 46 percent and if there are no rains in the catchment areas the situation could worsen.

The Hazelmere supply area include Verulam, Grange, Redcliffe, Everest Heights, Waterloo, oThongathi, Westbrook, La Mercy, Sea Tides, Hambanathi, Trenace, Emona, Burbreeze and Umdloti. Areas under the Ilembe District Municipality, including Ballito, are also affected.

Mayor James Nxumalo said all residents should adopt water-saving habits.

“We urge our people to respond positively to this warning. If we do not reduce water consumption drastically in the coming weeks, we may be forced to implement water restrictions and rotate the supply of water to the affected communities.

“We are requesting all residents of eThekwini to co-operate with us because if we do not get the rain soon other dams may also be affected,” he said.