……But Taps Remain Dry!
- Thamalakane River inflow yet to supply Maun
- WUC expects to start extraction in September
- Inflow arrive with impurities and pollutants
- WUC only manages 9 megalitres of the 15 megalitres demand
- Maun’s water provision to improve with river water supply
The annual water inflow that reached the Thamalakane River recently have not immediately translated to an improved portable water supply for Maun and its catchment area, and it may only be next month that the area may be supplied river water.
The reason is that the Water Utilities Corporation has to monitor the water quality through regular sampling and tests to ensure it meets the standard for consumption.
Following the drying up of the Thamalakane River the area started experiencing water shortages that lead to Water Utilities Corporation rationing the most sought-after resource. This has been a recurring experience for the area over the years, which has necessitated a more permanent solution in the ongoing Phase 2 of the Maun Water Supply and Sanitation Project.
When the Thamalakane River dries up, it immediately cuts off over 30% of the area’s water supply.
Maun and its environs, currently has a demand of 15 mega litres a day, and when the river has water, the corporation operates at a manageable deficit – supplying 9 mega litres from the wellfields, supplemented with 4 mega litres from the Thamalakane River.
One of the reasons residents in Maun rejoice at the arrival of the flood is the anticipation of an immediate improved water supply.
However, that does not happen immediately as WUC has to monitor the levels and quality of the arriving water before treating and supplying the general public.
WUC – Maun General Manager Paul Mafavuneh revealed this week that the flood arrives with certain levels of impurities and pollutants which they have to monitor through constant sampling and tests until a certain threshold where its acceptable to treat and supply.
He said, it also speaks to the colour of the water, part of which gets into the water from the burnt river beds and flood plains.
Mafavuneh highlighted that while the levels at the Borolong Water treatment plant is satisfactory, they only expect to start extraction at the beginning of September. Only then will water supply situation in Maun and the surrounding areas improve, albeit still with a deficit.
Mafavuneh is also adamant that should they manage to power their boreholes, with generators in the short term, they should be in a position to meet demand by the end of the year. Maun and its catchment area is supplied from the Shashe, Kunyere and Tsutsubega/Gogomoga wellfields.
The most affected areas in Maun when there are water shortages are Boseja, Disaneng and Matlapana – and the water rationing by the corporation has been implemented to reduce the severity of the situation.