Emergency Water Demand Management
The crisis situation at Gamka Dam can be attributed to several factors, namely, low rainfall, uncontrolled water consumption (up by 44% in six years), insufficient planning and the high cost attached to new water resource development options. More important than the contributing factors however was the reaction; by the time the town emerged from the crisis it had been transformed into a model of water conservation and demand management. This was achieved through several measures including a public awareness campaign, reduced consumption through pressure reduction, an aggressive water tariff structure, and the construction of a wastewater reclamation plant.
At a capital cost of US$3,500,000 the reaction provoked the construction of two new water sources to guarantee stability – a groundwater and wastewater reclamation plant producing potable water. Mentalities in the town changed, and the water resources were overall improved. The overall volumetric impact of the program is 730,000m3/year.