Water Wednesday: Mpumalanga dam levels drop while Northern Cape water levels rise

Mpumalanga dam levels drop

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) weekly state of reservoirs report of 5 August 2019 shows that the water in storage in the province recorded a 0.8% decline from last week’s 69.0% to 68.2%, which simply translates to 1731.5 cubic litres.

Water levels also continue to drop in the water management areas (WMA), with the Olifants WMA dropping from 58.1% to 57.1% and the Inkomati-Usuthu WMA dropping from 72.4% to 71.7%.

In comparison to the other provinces, Mpumalanga still stands at number four behind Gauteng, Free State and Northern Cape in terms of water availability in the country.

The DWS has encouraged the public to continue using water wisely and in a more conservative manner as the water levels are lower than the levels recorded during the same period last year.

“Climate change is upon us and is a factor for serious consideration. This calls for all of us to be more conservative in our water use as we are not sure and cannot predict how much rain we will receive in the upcoming summer rainy season,” said the DWS in a statement.

The Northern Cape water level increases

The Northern Cape Province has shown a vast improvement in dam levels this week. The province is currently at 124.3 million cubic or 84.4%, an increase from last week’s 82.3%. The full storage capacity of the province is 147.3 million m3.

Only the Karee Dam is a storage dam within the Northern Cape. The other dams are used as transient storage and have much smaller capacities than the larger storage dams in other provinces, hence the levels of these vary from week to week. They are fed from other upstream dams in the Vaal and Orange rivers and water is released from the upstream dams as required.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom is at 91.8%.
  • The Cape Town Dam System, consisting of six dams serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is at 61.4% this week.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 56.6% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 60.8%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

Source: Capricorn Review