Ricochet News

Nelson Mandela Bay residents urged to adhere to water restrictions, national dam levels drop 'alarmingly'

Nov 29, 2018
Nelson Mandela Bay residents urged to adhere to water restrictions, national dam levels drop 'alarmingly'

South Africa’s dam levels have dropped by an alarming 4,8% from 73,2% to 68,4% in the past month, a trend that has prompted the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to renew its calls for water users to conserve as much water as possible.

"The decrease on dam levels has been exacerbated by the heat wave that has been experienced in most parts of the country which leads to water evaporation and an increased water consumption by water users," said spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

"A weekly report on dam levels report by the Department this week sketches a disturbing picture of the country’s water status that – despite intermittent rains - is dropping week-on-week."

He said that hydrologists are concerned that if the trend continues unabated, the government may be forced to re-introduce stringent water restrictions to arrest the situation.

"A recent workshop by hydrologists in the Department of Water and Sanitation predicted a less-than-normal rainfall in the next three months. Dry conditions that lead to drought are normally caused by the El Nino phenomenon."

Ratau said that in spite of the scorching temperatures, Gauteng dams remain stable this week, at 96,3%, followed by Free State at 79,6%, Northern Cape at 71,2%, Western Cape at 67,9%, Mpumalanga 67,8%, Eastern Cape at 61,7%, Limpopo 60,7% and North West at a low of 53,4%.

Nelson Mandela Bay residents urged to adhere to water restrictions

"At 53,4%, North West has been adversely affected, having dropped from 72% during the same period last year. Currently, the province has 463,3 cubic metres of water in its storage, which is half its storage capacity of 868,1 cubic metres," he described.

"The dire situation has prompted the Provincial Government, DWS in the Region as well as Ngaka Modiri District Municipality to convene and work together in an effort to find solutions to the looming crisis.

"The area of Nelson Mandela Bay which was at a dire state in the last few months has improved but water levels are still low in the area. The Algoa Water Supply System (with dams such as Kouga Dam and others in the regions) is at 53,9% this week.

"The system is not out of the woods yet as it is still not at its capacity, therefore residents are urged to adhere to water restrictions."

Below are the levels of Water Supply Systems:

• The Integrated Vaal River system supplying 14 dams, Sasol and Eskom is at 72,9%,
• Amathole Water Supply System supplying water dams in Buffalo City is at 73.6%,
• Bloemfontein Water Supply System supplying dams in Mangaung is at 58,6%,
• Cape Town is at 70,8%,
• Crocodile West is at 72,5%,
• Polokwane is at 74,9%, and
• Umgeni 63,6.

"Amid the persistent hot conditions across the country, the Department of Water and Sanitation urges citizens to continue saving water in their domestic and commercial use."

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