Umgeni Water is a public entity established in 1974 to provide water services - water supply and sanitation services - to other water services institutions in its service area. The organisation operates in accordance with the Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) and the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999), amongst others, and is categorised as a National Government Business Enterprise. Umgeni Water reports directly to the Department of Water and Sanitation through the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive. The Executive Authority of the water board is the Minster of Water and Sanitation.
Activities of Umgeni Water
The primary activities of Umgeni Water, as pronounced in section 29 of the Water Services Act, is to provide water services (water supply and sanitation services) to other water services institutions in its service area.
In addition, section 30 of the Water Services Act, enables Umgeni Water to undertake other activities, provided these do not impact negatively on the organisation’s ability to perform its primary activity. These include:
- Providing management services, training and other support services to other water services institutions, in order to promote co-operation in the provision of water services,
- Supplying untreated or non-potable water to end-users who do not use the water for household purposes,
- Providing catchment management services to or on behalf of the responsible authority,
- With the approval of the water services authority having jurisdiction in the area, supplying water directly for industrial use, accepting industrial effluent and acting as a water services provider to consumers,
- Providing water services in joint venture with water services authorities, and
- Performing water conservation functions.
Supply Area and Customers (shown in map)
Over the years Umgeni Water has grown into the largest bulk water supplier in KwaZulu-Natal and has an operational area of 21 155 square kilometres. Umgeni Water’s operational area is bounded by the uThukela River in the North, the Mtamvuna River in the South, the Indian Ocean in the East and Drakensberg Mountains in the West. Umgeni Water has its head office in Pietermaritzburg and is supported by offices to serve its regions, namely Ulwandle (coastal region) and Izintaba (inland region).
The organisation derives its revenue from the sale of bulk potable water to its six customers:
- eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality
- iLembe District Municipality
- Ugu District Municipality
- Harry Gwala District Municipality
- uMgungundlovu District Municipality
- Msunduzi Local Municipality.
Umgeni Water’s infrastructure assets in support of its primary business comprise:
- Approximately 746 kilometres of pipelines and sixty-six (66) kilometres of tunnels,
- Thirteen (13) dams, of which five (5) are managed on behalf of the Department of Water Affairs and two (2) on behalf of the Ugu District Municipality,
- Eleven (11) water treatment works, of which two (2) are managed on behalf of the Ugu District Municipality, and
- An additional eighteen (18) small water treatment works and nineteen (19) borehole schemes managed on behalf of the iLembe District Municipality.
A total of 440 million cubic metres of potable water per annum (1159Ml/d) are currently supplied to customers who serve 6.1million people or 1.68 million households through reticulation networks.
The organisation also treats bulk wastewater totalling 28 million cubic metres per annum (82Ml/d) and in support of this operates five (5) wastewater treatment works, of which one (1) is managed on behalf of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.