Water and Sanitation on national water levels

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