Ricochet News

Dam levels continue to drop locally and nationally

Jul 27, 2017
Dam levels continue to drop locally and nationally

There was a 1% week-on-week drop in the dams supplying the Nelson Mandela Bay and the rest of the country, the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday. 

According to the Department, the Algoa System, which has five dams that supply water to the Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga Local Municipality area, has decreased slightly from 33.3% to 32.7%. Last year, during this time, the dams were a combined 72.2% full. 

Effectively, the dams are at 22.3% as the last 10% cannot be extracted for use.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Kouga Local Municipality late last year were forced to implement water restrictions to try and address the water challenges. 

From 1 August, the Kouga Local Municipality will bring into effect higher water tariffs.

The Amathole System, with six dams that supply the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, decreased from 63.5% to 63.2%, the Department added. Last year, this time, the dams were a combined 82.2% full. 

Elsewhere, in the Free State, the Bloemfontein System, with four dams serving mainly Mangaung, decreased by 1.2% to 45% from 46.2% compared to 31.3% during the same time last year. 

The Crocodile West System in North West, with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg, has also experienced a slight decrease from 98.6% to 98.2%.  The system recorded 95.2% last year. 

Despite some heavy rains in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Umgeni system, with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msunduzi, decreased from 61% to 60.3% this week. The system was at 47.9% during the same time last year. 

While there were rains in the Western Cape recently, the report released by the department this week painted a bleak picture of two dams, Gamka and Gamkapoort, which are virtually empty at 0.0%. 

They are followed by Floriskraal and Stompdrift, whose levels are 4.1% and 4.7% respectively. 

However, the report showed a different picture in the Vaal Dam which supplies Gauteng and two other provinces, whose level stands at a reasonable 93.9% compared to 36% at the height of the drought last year.