Dam levels hold despite heatwave



Despite the heatwave in some parts of the country, dam levels in the Western Cape remain consistent, with an improvement from 60.6% to 61.6% this week.

This is a sharp contrast to the water situation in that province, when dam levels were below 20% during the beginning of the year.

A weekly report released by the Department of Water and Sanitation on Wednesday, suggests fortunes for the Western Cape, with the South African Weather Service predicting more rains this week.

Levels at Theewaterskloof Dam, which supplies the City of Cape Town, have increased from 51.1% to 52.1%, compared to 28.1% during the same period last year.

The Cape Town Dams System, with six dams supplying Cape Town Metro, has increased from 68.9% to 69.7%. The system was at 37.2% at the same time last year.  Clanwilliam is up from 99% to 99.4%. Last year at the same time, it was at 40.7%. Voelvlei increased from 81.1% to 83.7%.

The City of Cape Town has proposed the relaxation water restrictions to level 5, as well as the reduction of water tariffs with effect from 1 October 2018.

Not out of the woods yet

However, the Department of Water and Sanitation has insisted that Capetonians are not out of the woods yet, and has called on residents to continue saving water.

“Despite the good rains, the department will only review the current water restrictions when the dam levels have reached 85% capacity,” the department said.

The report also revealed a steady decline of average national dam levels, from 76.8% recorded last week to 76.4% this week.

Vaal Dam in Gauteng decreased from 92% to 90.7% this week. The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), consisting of 14 dams and serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom, has also decreased from 81.2% to 80.5%. The system was at 76.2% during the same time last year.

Thanks to the good rains experienced in the Eastern Cape, Kouga Dam has recovered from 6.8% recorded two weeks ago to 45.7%. The Algoa System, with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay, has also increased from 39.9% to 49.1%. Last year, the system stood at 31.4%. Loerie increased from 90.2% to 100.5%, while Groendal is at 48.2% and Impofu Dam recorded 34.7%.

The Amathole System, which has six dams serving East London, decreased from 81.6% last week to 81.5%. Bridle Drift is at 63.8%, while Nahoon is at 68.5% and Laing Dam is at 99.9%.

In the North West, Madikwe Dam is at 45.2% and Roodekopjes decreased from 85.2% to 80%. Haartebeespoort decreased from 93.9% to 91.8%, while Setumo decreased from 70.7% to 70.4%.

Umgeni Dam System in KwaZulu-Natal, which boasts five dams that serve eThekwini and uMsunduzi in Pietermaritzburg, decreased slightly from 71% to 70.4%. The system was at 54.6% in the same period last year. Midmar Dam has also decreased by a fraction from 94.9% to 94.8%, while Inanda Dam decreased slightly from 68% to 67.9%.

The Northern Cape Province has experienced a 2.1% increase from 85% to 87.1% this week. Spitskop Dam decreased from 86.1% to 85.7%.

Dam levels in the Free State have decreased from 90.9% to 90.2%. During the same time last year, the dam levels were at 76.1%. Rustfontein has increased from 36.2% to 36.6%.

The average dam levels in Limpopo have decreased from 68.5% to 67.8%. Luphephe Dam decreased from 79.2% to 78.4%. Last year at the same time, it was at 68.9%. Vondo Dam went down from 94.6% to 94.4%, as well as Albasini Dam, which decreased from 82.9% to 82.5%.

The average dam levels in Mpumalanga have also seen a decreased from 75.7% to 74.7%. Loskop is down from 94.9% to 93.8%, while Witbank decreased from 97.1% to 96.6%.

The department urged South Africans to continue to conserve water. – SAnews.gov.za

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