This year, the water situation was worse.

“The picture is bleak. Sixty-nine percent of Bloemfontein’s water comes from the Welbedag dam, which provides water to the Bloem Water reservoir,” Democratic Alliance councillor Rossouw Botes said.

“That dam has 26% less water than last year,” he said. He is considered one of the authorities on water issues in the metro.

“Mangaung uses 200 million litres of water a day. The water in the dams that provide water to the metro will never last until October, when we can expect the first spring rains.

“Thaba ‘Nchu is already dry and other areas are on a knife’s edge. The Groothoek dam, which provides water to Thaba ‘Nchu, is completely dry. There are 25 boreholes in Thaba ‘Nchu. Of these, 7 are dry and the others are overstressed.”

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There was speculation that Friday afternoon’s special council meeting might be about the implementation of water restrictions.

“I’m afraid the agenda for Friday’s meeting is confidential until it is tabled. Besides, I don’t like to use the term water restrictions, nowadays I prefer to talk about water saving measures,” Botes said.

Bloemfontein last had water restrictions in 1983.