National water levels continue to diminish albeit in small margins
The Department of Water and Sanitation’s weekly status of dams report demonstrate that the country’s water levels are on a continual decrease due to the lack of rains in the last few weeks. This week, the overall national storage capacity of the country’s reservoirs is at 92.3%, a tiny reduction from last week’s 92.4%, and a significant improvement from last year’s 81.5%.
The biggest Water Supply System, Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) with 14 dams across four provinces dipped marginally from 99.2% last week to 98.9% this week. Some of the Water Supply Systems that have declined are; Bloemfontein from 98.2% last week to 98.1% this week. Both Crocodile East and West experienced a reduction by the tiniest margin from 100.2% to 100.0% and 98.1% to 97.7% respectively.
Continuing with the downward movement in as far as Water Supply System are concerned were; Luvuvhu from 100.9% to 100.8%, Umhlathuze from 100.1% to 100.0%, Polokwane from 101.3% to 100.9%, and Umgeni dropped from 98.1% to 97.8%.
On the positive note, Algoa Water Supply System with dams supplying water to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is among the systems that have recorded slight improvement, increasing slightly from 15.0% last week to 15.1% this week. However, the system remains low and dams are still struggling to recover from the persisting drought in the area. Butterworth also moved up somewhat from 99.7% to 100.0% and Cape Town also increased from 75.3% to 76.3%.
Seven out of nine provinces have recorded downwards movements in water levels namely, Free State from 99.7% to 99.6%, KwaZulu-Natal from 88.7% to 88.5%, Limpopo from 88.0% to 87.7%, Gauteng from 100.2% to 99.6%, Mpumalanga from 94.8% to 94.5%, North West from 80.0% to 79.6% and Northern Cape from 109.3% to 106.9%.
On the improvement segment is Western Cape which increased from 63.9% to 64.6% and Eastern Cape from 69.5% to 70.2%.
The Gariep, which is South Africa's largest dam, was 97.4% last week and is sitting at 97.7% this week. While Sterkfontein Dam, a reserve dam within IVRS, is at 100.2%, showing a minor decrease from last week’s water level of 100.3%. Vaal Dam has declined from 100.9% to 100.1%.
The Department of Water and Sanitation continues to urge the public to save and use water sparingly as we remain a water scarce country.
Residents in the city of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni are warned to expect an 87-hour approximately five days water outage this week due to maintenance work on key pipelines in Gauteng. Maintenance commences on Friday 19 August 2022 at 09:30 until 13:00 on Tuesday 23 August 2022.
For more information, contact Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation on 082 874 2942
Source: Government of South Africa