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Efforts to improve Nelson Mandela University’s self-reliance on alternative water supplies continues apace across each of its campuses as the water situation deteriorates in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

With only 9.31% usable water available in the dams, regular water supply disruptions, and ongoing water pipe breakages, all of which is compounded by increased loadshedding, the institution is doing all it can to ensure it is able to continue operating regardless of these challenges.

These plans include the sinking of two additional boreholes during 2023 on South Campus to provide an alternative water supply for this campus. This follows research by geohydrologists last year as to the water quality supply volumes of the aquifer in the area.

Water status

The gravity of the present crisis is captured here:

Day zero looms – dam in Nelson Mandela Bay at lowest level yet

and here

NMB in worse position than people realise

Please also go to the Metro website for regular updates.

In the interim at Mandela University, around 30 smaller projects are in place as the University prepares to welcome about 30 000 students and 4 000 staff members back onto to campus for the start of the 2023 Academic Year. All these projects form part of the University’s sustainability strategy. 

Water saving habits

Staff and students should continue to practice water-saving habits and not be duped into thinking the drought is over because of the present green environment. The latter is only thanks to unseasonable December rains.

As a water scarce continent, restricting our consumption to no more than 50L per person a day or less should become a norm.

Campus update

North Campus

The borehole at the new Phase 3 residences on North Campus will be able to support the eight new residence blocks.  There is also an existing irrigation borehole which has the capacity to enable functioning of the other campus buildings and residences should the need arise.

The University is also enhancing its storage capacity by installing an additional 24 x 10 000 litre tanks, as an improvement on the emergency interim use of the Hector Petersen pool.

“What we have learnt is that our medium-term measures (borehole and reclaimed water sources) need to be refined so that they can evolve into long-term solutions,” said the University’s sustainability engineer Dr Andre Hefer.

South Campus

Apart from the promise of two new boreholes, the University also has its reclaimed water project as a back-up should the water situation become even more dire. In the interim, the reclaimed water continues to irrigate the institution’s sports fields and gardens.

Ocean Sciences

A borehole here is capable of supporting the campus and is already being used for toilets at Sol Plaatjie and the new residences at Phase 1 in Sanlam Student Village.

Second Avenue   

Once a new borehole pump for Second Avenue Campus has been procured, this campus will have access to additional water use and storage of 40 000L of water per day.

Bird Street Campus

When the need arises, this campus will receive regular domestic usage support given the size of the campus and its particular needs.

Missionvale Campus

This campus is linked to the more reliant Nooitgedacht scheme, and already has 100 000 litres of storage capacity. 

George Campus

The call to save water and introduce new water usage habits stretches to George Campus in the southern Cape too. While the Garden Route town has received ample rain, the municipality is struggling to meet consumer demand in terms of water treatment. This impacts directly on campus usage.

Please use water as sparingly as possible.

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057