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Dam levels improve this week due to recent rains

Feb 13, 2020
Dam levels improve this week due to recent rains

East London - Despite the rains in different parts of the country, the average national dam levels remains steady this week at 62.4%, the Department of Water & Sanitation announced on Wednesday.

"Recent heavy rains in the Northern Cape have resulted in a huge increase of dam levels to 80.9%. These dams were sitting at 73.3% last week," said Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation.

"The Northern Cape province is one of the provinces hardest hit by drought, which has prompted an intervention by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in conjunction with the provincial government to pledge R300m for drought relief.

"Whilst Gauteng province has also experienced heavy downpours in the past days which resulted in flooding at some areas, the province’s dam levels have declined."

Ratau said that in the previous week, the province was in the lead with an increase of dam levels to 103%.

"This has slightly dwindled to 99.4% this week. The drought stricken Eastern Cape dam levels were sitting at 49.3% last week, but they have experienced a slight increase to 50.7% this week," he added.

"The area of Butterworth, and areas under Chris Hani District Municipality and Joe Gqabi are still experiencing drought with Xilinca Dam sitting at 4.9 %, a slight rise from 4.3% last week.

"North West province has also seen an improvement of its dam levels, where they are now at 67.3% this week compared to last week’s 66.7%."

Ratau said that the province’s dam levels were at 58.1% last year.

Mpumalanga dam levels have steadily increased to 74.4% this week from last week’s 74.1%. The province’s Nooigedacht and Vygeboom dams are sitting at 100.7% and 100.9 compared to 99.2% and 100.6% respectively last week.

"Free State Province dam levels have experienced a slight improvement this week to 69.2% from 69.0% last week. Fika Patso Dam, which supplies the residents of Phuthaditjhaba, in QwaQwa, has remained steady but at a low of 10.4% week on week," Ratau said.

"The dire situation of drought at the area has called for the intervention by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation to provide interim measures to address water challenges in the area. Ten water tankers and a number of water tanks were dispatched to the area to bring an immediate relief.

"Limpopo has seen a rise in dam levels to 62.3% this week, moving from last week’s 60.8%. In Mopani Region, Tzaneen and Middel-Letaba dams are at lower levels by 8.7% and 2,8% respectively.

"South Africa is still a water scarce country, despite the recent rainfalls in various parts of the country. Residents are encouraged to practice restraint when using water. A culture of harvesting rain water should also be practiced, both in urban and rural areas, in an effort to augment water provision."

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