Ricochet News

'Reason to be concerned as dam levels recover only slightly after Easter heavy rains'

Apr 25, 2019
'Reason to be concerned as dam levels recover only slightly after Easter heavy rains'

Recent rains slightly improved dam levels

Port Elizabeth - According to a weekly dam levels report issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Tuesday, shows the country’s water levels are rising steadily following persisting rainfalls in some parts of the country.

The report shows that the combined national average of dams has increased to 68.7% this week from 67.7% last week.

"When the current water status is compared to the same period last year when the water levels were at 81.7%, there is a reason to be concerned as there are signs that there hasn’t been enough rain or there is an increase in water consumption," said Department of Water spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

"Therefore, the Department of Water and Sanitation, would like to remind water users that South Africa is a water scarce country and it is for that reason that water consumption should be reduced to save our available water resources."

Provincial dam levels

The water levels in the provinces were recorded as follows:

  • Gauteng dam levels decreased from 97.5% last week to 97.3%;
  • KwaZulu-Natal dam levels increased to 67.9% this week from 63.7% last week;
  • Mpumalanga dam levels increased to 74, 7% this week from 74.5% last week;
  • Western Cape dam levels decreased from 35, 6% last week to 34.6% this week;
  • Eastern Cape dam levels increased to 62, 8% compared 61, 8% last week;
  • Free State dam levels are at 79.2% this week compared to 77.4% last week;
  • Limpopo dam levels decreased to 66.1% this week compared to 66.3% last week;
  • Northern Cape dam levels are at 70.6% this week compared to 72.1% last week;
  • North West dam levels increased to 63.6% this week compared to 62.4% last week.

Ratau said that the Department of Water and Sanitation noted reports of extensive damage and loss of lives due to the recent floods that hit the KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and other provinces.

"While the department appreciates these downpours to improve water security, it remains vital to warn residents that water can be dangerous," he said.

Department of Water and Sanitation safety tips during heavy rains

The Department of Water and Sanitation shared the following precautions need to be adhered to when there are heavy rains and floods;

  • Communities are requested to take precautions when they are crossing rivers, lakes and other water systems,
  • Communities must limit recreational activities near water systems in particular when it is raining,
  • Avoid walking or driving when it raining heavily,
  • Reduce your speed and increase the following distance,
  • When biking, avoid puddles wherever possible, and
  • Walk on designated pathways and avoid walking in floodwaters.

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