Managing water use in a time of crisis

A sewerage spill in Carlisle Street, recently reported by a resident; a recurring problem, overflowing manholes and sewerage overflow has resulted in severe cases of sewerage spills in across the town. Residents have however been using MobiSAM to report these issues, which has allowed for an accurate record of events regarding the state of water and sanitation infrastructure in the municipality.

By: Hancu Louw Citizen Communication and Engagement Officer

Do you know of leaking water mains or faulty public water and sanitation infrastructure?

Get in touch with MobiSAM.


Despite some rain over the past couple of days, Grahamstown and the larger Makana Municipal district still face a serious water shortage.

The most recent figures indicate that the western side of Grahamstown has a maximum of 107 days of stable water supply available.

Currently Settlers Dam is at 20% and Howieson’s Poort at 45% of total capacity.

The scenario in which 107 days of water is available is based on information and estimations based on the ability to pump Settlers Dam to 10% and Howiesons’ to 8%. With the current weather patterns persisting we may face a situation in which only 40-50% of water demands will be met due to a shortage in supply and the danger of damaging water infrastructure by continuing to pump water at such low volumes.  

As of June, Makana Municipality has insisted on restricting water use to 100 liters per person per day. The restrictions include the limited use of water for indoor washing machines, cleaning and cooking. No municipal water is to be used with a hosepipe, no pools are to be filled and gardens are not to be watered and if need be only sparingly (we suggest you employ a grey water system to keep your lawn watered).

Here are some links to resources on ways to reduce your daily water use:

Added to the responsibility of actively reducing your daily water consumption, is that of reporting any signs of water wastage in the form of leaks, burst pipes etc. In the case of public infrastructure we urge you to use the site to report any water or infrastructure related issues.  

By creating an account and logging a ticket, you are able to track the progress of your complaint with the option of following up cases of inaction on the part of Makana Municipality. Leaking water mains, fire hydrants and fittings have an accumulative effect which results in low pressure and a steady outflow of clean potable water fit for domestic use. The responsibility therefore falls on all residents to seek ways to report these issues so as to work towards conserving the water available to all residents of the municipality.

Being aware of the lack of access to the web and Internet services that many residents of Makana experience, MobiSAM supports citizens to connect and report information via SMS or ‘please call me’  by getting in touch with this number: 073 609 3059. These reported issues are then submitted as a ticket on the MobiSAM website, and handled in the same way as all other reported issues.

If you know someone who might find this number useful please share it and encourage people to connect with us in our mission to ensure issues are reported and taken care of swiftly and properly.

For more details on the current state of Makana Municipal water supply and infrastructure please have a look here for information provided by the Grahamstown Resident’s Association.


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