The council requires over US$1 million to rehabilitate collapsing infrastructure at Ncema water treatment plants, a figure that officials say is beyond the reach of the cash-strapped local authority.
Ncema Dam only pumps out 39 000 cubic metres per day against its normal capacity of 81 000 cubic metres due to the dilapidated filter beds and calorifiers.
The dam is also fast-depleting due to collapsing infrastructure.
Latest council minutes say the local authority is scouting for “suitable” partners to rehabilitate the water treatment plants amid indications that bids received so far did not meet council requirements.
“The proposals submitted were not comparable to the original submission hence we could not come up with a reasonable and workable system,” reads latest council minutes. “We will re-tender when funds are made available for the filters at Ncema Water Works.”
The BCC blamed water shortages faced by the city to dilapidated infrastructure at the water treatment plants resulting in machinery failing to pump adequate water to residents.
“… the treatment works continued to struggle to produce enough water to meet the city’s water demands,” the council minutes read in part.
“For example, Ncema waterworks can only produce 39 000 cubic metres per day against a design capacity of 81 000 cubic metres per day.”
Under normal circumstances, the city consumes 150,000 cubic metres of water daily but has been receiving just under 70,000 cubic metres.
The region’s consistently low rainfall in the last few years has led to dwindling water levels in the city’s dams.