Water restrictions could be extended for another year in KwaZulu-Natal following an application from Umgeni Water to the Department of Water and Sanitation to extend water restrictions.
The province currently has mandatory water restrictions of 15% implemented in the Mgeni system supply, utility spokesman Shami Harichunder said on Friday.
If approved, the restrictions will be effective as of 1 July. These restrictions are currently in place across four municipalities that receive water from the Mgeni system. These include the uMgungundlovu and Ugu district municipalities, the Msunduzi local municipality, and the eThekwini metro.
Rainfall across the country has been below average and has intensified strain currently placed on dams and reservoirs.
The Mgeni system joint operations committee recently held a series of meetings to discuss the low levels of rainfall predicted over the winter.
The system includes the Midmar, Spring Grove, Mearns, Albert Falls, Nagle, and Inanda dams.
The utility said approximately four million consumers receive water from the Mgeni system. These include the housing, business, industrial, and government sectors across the province.
There had previously been water shortages in the system. This was a result of insufficient water in the Midmar and Albert Falls dams in Howick and Pietermaritzburg. This was resolved when water was fed into Midmar from the Spring Grove Dam.
Umgeni Water said it reduced potable water production by 15% at its Midmar, DV Harris, Wiggins, Durban Heights and Amanzimtoti water treatment plants when supply was very low.
The utility added that the Mgeni system still remains lower than they would like, adding that it has not recovered sufficiently.
It also said restrictions would only be called off once the average amount of water in the system reached at least 70%. It is currently sitting at approximately 60%.