Water and Sanitation on water discharges at Vaal and Bloemhof Dams

Water discharges remain at the Vaal and Bloemhof Dams, DWS on high alert for Tropical Cyclone “Freddy”

Today, the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Hydrological Monitoring and Forecasting System indicates that although the capacity at the Vaal dam is now decreasing faster than yesterday, water levels at the dam are still too high. As a result, the 12 sluice gates will remain open to continue ease the pressure in the dam. Vaal Dam is currently sitting at around 116.7% while The Barrage Dam is at 97%.

The water levels at Bloemhof Dam are currently at 112% and the water discharge remains at 3 800 cubic metres per second.

In the Orange River, the Gariep Dam is also sitting at around 112%, and the releases into the Orange river, upstream of Vanderkloof dam is 1616m3/s. At the Vanderkloof dam, water levels are at 110% and outflow releases are 1678m3/s.

Communities downstream the Orange and Vaal Rivers System, particularly Lower Orange and Lower Vaal Rivers are urged to stay vigilant and continue to exercise caution as the water levels remain high.

The Department would also like to caution communities residing in the Lowveld and escarpment areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for possible heavy rainfalls from early Saturday until Monday (25 to 27 February 2023).

According to the South African Weather Services, there is a possibility of very heavy rainfall in the order of 200 to 400mm which may result in widespread significant flooding.

The districts in question are Vhembe and Mopani in Limpopo, and to a slightly lesser extent, Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga. The flooding may be catastrophic and may cause prolonged and severe impacts, particularly after significant flooding that have occurred over the Lowveld and escarpment areas such as the Kruger National Park in the last few weeks.

The Department will continue to closely monitor the water flow in the affected rivers and dams, and urge communities to remain alert, avoid crossing low lying bridges, overflowing rivers and streams, and to evacuate where necessary if residing near these water courses.

Due to the recent heavy rains in large parts of the country, many rivers are overflowing, and most dams are full and spilling.

For more information, contact Wisane Mavasa, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation on 060 561 8935.

Source: Government of South Africa