Ricochet News

More rains still needed to improve dam levels - see latest data

Oct 20, 2017
More rains still needed to improve dam levels - see latest data

Last week’s heavy downpours made a slight difference to the country’s dam levels as they increased by a fraction percentage from 64,2% to 64,4%, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said in a statement on Thursday.

The Department said that the rains instead caused more structural damage than improving dams to desired levels.

"It would appear that South Africa needs more rain for dams to improve to their maximum capacity," it added.

According to the Department, in the Kwazulu-Natal, dam levels have increased quite considerably as Umgeni Dam System, which has five dams serving eThekwini and Msunduzi in Pietermaritzburg, increased from 53,1% last week to 54,5% this week.

"The system was at 44, 2% in the same period last year . Spioenkop Dam is at 74,6% down from 74,8%. Woodstock Dam is at 74,0% and Wagendrift Dam increased from 93,1% to 97,1%."

In Mpumalanga, dam levels have moved up from 70,5% to 71,1% this week, the Department said.

"The provincial dams are performing satisfactorily with the Witbank at 98,9%, Middelburg 61,1% and Kwena at 64,6%."

In the Eastern Cape, the Algoa System, which has five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay, is at 30,5% from 30,6%.

"Last year the system recorded 70,3% level, the Department described.

"Last week Kouga Dam went down from 13,6% to 13,5%. Impofu Dam is down from 52, 9% to 52%; a sharp decline from last year’s 81,8% at the same period.

"Haarlem Dam is at 26,6% from 24,4%, a sharp decline from 81,8 in the same period last year. Groendal Dam went up from 49,2% to 53,2%."

It said that the Amathole System, which has six dams serving Buffalo City (East London), increased significantly from 60,7% to 68,8%.

Last year this time it was at 78,1%.

In Gauteng, the Vaal Dam stands at 83,5% compared to last week’s 84,6%.

"The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) that has 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom, decreased by 0.3% from 74,9 to 74,6%," the Department said.

"The system was at 49,9% in the same period last year."

The Western Cape continues to experience severe drought conditions.

Water usage remains critical and on Wednesday, Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, released the city’s critical water shortages disaster plan, which would see rationing and saving.

The city also announced that it anticipated its supply of municipal water would run out around March 2018 if consumption was not reduced to 500 million litres of collective use per day.

"The current collective water use has gone down to 607 million litres per day. As of Monday, 9 October, the useable water left in dams stood at 27.8%," the Department said.

"Despite heavy rains and flooding in most parts of the country, the City of Cape Town is dealing with the dual challenges of unprecedented drought and increased water demand due to population growth, urbanisation and economic development. Western Cape dam levels have decreased slightly from last week to 35,9%.

"The Theewaterskloof Dam is at 27,0% (2016: 52,0%); Calitzdorp Dam is at 24,1% (2016: 85,5%) and Buffelsjags Dam is at 100,8% (2016:100,9%). The average dam levels for the province at this time last year was 61,8% compared to last week’s average of 36,1%."

In Limpopo, Nwanedzi Dam is at 75,5 %, Nandoni Dam 97,9% and Albasini Dam stands 79,4%.

Currently, the Bloemfontein System in Free State that has four dams serving mainly Mangaung, increased by 0,5% from 37,2% to 37,7%.

"The system was at 30,9% during the same period last year. In North West, Molatedi Dam experienced a slight decrease from 50,2% to 49,7%," the Department said.

"The Crocodile West System which has six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg, remained static at 89,2%."

Northern Cape has decreased by 5,7% from 92,9% to 87,7% last week . Spitskop Dam is down to 84,9 from 85,7% last week.

The Department of Water and Sanitation wishes to remind all water users that it is everyone’s responsibility to conserve our water resources to ensure that we do not run out of water.