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Dept of Water warns that with winter coming, dams continue to decline

Mar 15, 2019
Dept of Water warns that with winter coming, dams continue to decline

Port Elizabeth -The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) says despite the combined average increase in latest sporadic late summer rains, water saving efforts must always continue.

"For those not in the know that is why the month of March has been declared Water Month. The reality for all of water consumers is that winter is knocking on our front doors and as envisaged, the call to all people from DWS is to use this life-giving resource sparingly," explained Department of Water and Sanitation, Sputnik Ratau.

"As a society, we have become more and more environmentally conscious and better informed about the effect our lifestyles can have on the world around us.

"At the same time, the demand for our most valuable natural resource — drinking water — continues to grow while supplies can be threatened by different inputs including drought conditions."

Ratau said that even though water covers so much of the earth’s surface, less than one percent is available for human consumption.

"We share in the benefits of some of the safest drinking water in the world, and it is incumbent on us all to protect this valuable natural resource for future generations. By making simple but thoughtful changes in our daily routines, we can feel confident that we are doing our part."

Situation at dams nationally

According to the weekly national status of dams report issued by DWS on Monday, the average dam levels stood at 64,4%.

"This is a slight drop of 0, 1% from last week’s average of 64, 5% Significantly though is that in the Western Cape (WC) the City of Cape Town on Monday urged residents to continue saving water despite the easing up of restrictions."

Ratau said that residents are being allowed to water their gardens only after 6pm or before 9am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, for a maximum of one hour.

"People have also been urged to only use water-efficient irrigation like dripper systems, driplines or soaker hose irrigation systems. Cape Town dam levels are currently at 51, 8%; much higher than last year this time when it was 22, 8%," he added.

"The Western Cape Provincial Dam levels are at 40, 0% this week, dropping from 44, 3% last week, while the figures for last year during the same period were 18, 7%.

"The Department is still urging residents of the WC and the country at large to continue to save water."

With the dam a level dropping slightly though with some sporadic, but not consistent rainfall far in between, DWS is calling on all South Africans to save water as much as they can to ensure that the country does not run out of water.

"North West Province and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) dams are running at 61, 5% and 62, 5% respectively. North West has lost 0, 3% of its water levels compared to last week’s 61, 8% while KZN gained 3, 4% after being down at 59, 9% last week," Ratau said.

"In KwaZulu-Natal, the Umgeni Integrated System comprises the Albert Falls, Nagle and Inanda dams."

Eastern Cape dam levels increased slightly

He said that the Eastern Cape dam levels have increased by a fraction from 60, 1% last week to 60, 9% this week.

"The Vaal Dam in Gauteng continues to lose water as it recorded 70,0%, a slight decrease from 70,8% recorded last week. The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) decreased from 68, 4% to 67, 8% week on week; whereas at the same time last year, the system was at 76, 4%. Free State Province dam levels decreased from 71, 6% to 70, 8%," Ratau added.

"The dam levels were recorded last year during the same time at 69, 8%. The Northern Cape Province is at 52, 9% this week, a decrease from 59, 7% from last week. Limpopo gained slightly to 67, 2% from 67, 1% last week.

"The provincial level area was recorded at 67, 3% during the same period last year. Mpumalanga also decreased its levels from 74, 1% to 73, 6% .The province has dams such as the Nooigedacht Longmere Dam and Vygeboom."

Ratau said that the Department of Water and Sanitation would like to remind water users that South Africa is a water scarce country.

"Therefore it is of importance that the current water resources at our disposal are conserved so that our taps do not run dry."

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