Ricochet News

National dam levels improve, but situation still dire in the Eastern Cape

Jul 27, 2018
National dam levels improve, but situation still dire in the Eastern Cape

South Africa's dam levels are showing signs of stability at 78.7%, compared to last year when they were at 69.7% during the drought that had ravaged the country.

A weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation paints a stable water situation across the country even though we are not out of the woods yet.

"Recent rains in parts of the country have given hope that perhaps the days of water crisis may be over even though it is too early to consider lifting water restrictions in affected provinces," said spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

"Gauteng tops the charts with dam levels that have almost reached their capacity at 99.7%. The figures indicate the great improvement in the province compared to 2017 when the levels were recorded at 90.2%."

He saidd that the Vaal Dam is among the water resources that have recorded the highest levels in the country at 97.6%.

"It is always important to have the Vaal Dam at its full capacity because of its strategic economic importance to Gauteng. The dam has improved by three percent compared to 2017 when it was 94.0%," Ratau added.

"The heavy downfalls in the Western Cape have increased dam levels to a whopping 50.1% this week compared to a 25.7% in the same period last year.

"Levels at the Theewaterskloof Dam which feeds Cape Town have almost doubled to41.3% compared to 20.5% a year ago. However, despite the good rains, the department will only review the current water restrictions when the dam levels have reached 85% capacity."

Ratau said that the Cape Town Dams System, with six dams serving the Cape Town Metro has increased from 54.8% to 56.1%, and more rains are predicted for the region Eastern Cape came out the worst province with the lowest dam levels in the country at 62.9%.

"The Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay decreased from 19,7% to a perilous 18,9%. Last year, the system stood at 32,9%. Worst still, Kouga Dam has decreased from 7,4% to 7,2% this week; Groendal decreased from 40,1% to 39,7%: Katrivier improved by one percent this week: Macubeni is at 97,2%," he added.

"The Amathole System, which has six dams that serve East London, decreased from 90, 1% last week to 89.9%."

In the North West, Haartebeespoort Dam improved from 66, 9% to 97, 3% this week. Sehujwane is at 85.1%.

Ratau added that in KwaZulu-Natal, dam levels decreased from 64.2% to 63.8% compare to last week.

"The Umgeni Dam System which boasts five dams that serve eThekwini and Msunduzi in Pietermaritzburg, decreased from 75,4% to 74,8%.

"The system was at 60,3% in the same period last year. Northern Cape improved from 87,2% to 93,1% this week. Boegoeberg Dam increased from91,3% to 99.6%," he described.

In Limpopo, the average dam levels decreased from 72.6% to 72,1%.PolokwaneWater Systems decreased almost by three percent in the past week to 91.5%.

Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, the average dam levels decreased from 79.9% to 79.5%.

"However, the figure represents a 3% increase compared to the same period last year. The Department of Water and Sanitation wishes to remind water users to continue adhering to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities."