NATIONAL NEWS - The department of water and sanitation (DWS) has said the Vaal Dam is starting to show signs of recovery after water levels declined drastically over the past few months.
The dam plummeted to below 39% after a series of heatwaves and dry conditions in the province, but now stands at 40%, reports Vaal Weekblad.
According to the department’s website, this time last year, Vaal Dam levels stood at 76.2%.
Heavy rains from the past weeks have, however, wreaked havoc in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, reports Caxton Central.
KwaZulu-Natal’s uMzingwenya River caused flooding in Umvoti, Pongola and Stanger, whereas flooding was also experienced at Hennops River in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu issued a warning to Gauteng residents not to cross areas that are overflowing, and those residing near embankments of the rivers to relocate to safer, alternative places.
Despite the damage the rain has caused, some provinces have experienced a slight improvement in dam levels. Gauteng leads with a significant decrease of 101.4% compared to 110% last week. This is within the context that Gauteng dams are significantly smaller than those in the Northern Cape and Free State in terms of volume.
The Northern Cape follows with 72%, a slight drop from 75.3% last week. Mpumalanga has experienced a slight improvement to 71.3% from 60.2%. North West is at 61% this week, compared to 56.3% last week.
The Free State has experienced a significant increase this week. It moved from 62.3% to 66%.
Limpopo has also improved from 49.1% last week to 58.4% this week.
Despite the improvement in some provinces due to the recent rainfalls, the Eastern Cape continues to experience dry weather conditions due to lack of rain. The dam levels in the region, however, have slightly increased from 47.2% to 47.3% this week.
At the national level, the average rose slightly from 56.2% to 59.5%.
South Africa is still a water-scarce country, despite the recent rainfalls in various parts of the country. Residents are therefore urged to practice restraint when using water. A culture of harvesting water should also be practised, both in urban and rural areas, in an effort to augment water provision at households.
Here is your weekly dam update:
- The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom is at a total of 101.4%.
- The Cape Town Dam System, consisting of six dams serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is at 63.6% this week.
- The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 60.1%, while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 54.3%.
Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:
Please note that the abovementioned summaries are not representative of all dams within provinces or water management areas. The summaries only reflect the storage for those dams listed in the Weekly State of Reservoirs Report.