Water Wednesday: SA’s dam levels are still on the decline despite rainfall

A weekly dam levels report issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) depicts a bleak reality that water levels are declining consistently week on week. The national water storage levels declined from 59.6% to 58.4% in two weeks. This is a far cry from 69.4% that was recorded during the same period last year.

The heavy rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal has contributed only a 1% increase in dam levels. The provincial water storage levels increased from 52.3% to 53% last week and have remained at 53.2%.

Meanwhile, Limpopo residents are urged to intensify water-saving measures as dams are emptying at an average of 49.1%. The dams are lower compared to 62% during the same period last year.

Dams supplying water to Moutse have dried up. As a result, a meeting was convened on Sunday, 17 November by officials from the DWS in Limpopo, the National Rapid Response Technical Team (NRRTT), officials from the technical department in Sekhukhune District Municipality and senior officials from the municipality including the Executive Mayor to intervene.

Recommendations that were made included equitable water tankering across Moutse urgently. To this end, a total of 10 000 litres water tanks will be supplied as a short term measure. In addition, a steering committee will be formed and is set to comprise of the NRRTT, DWS in Limpopo, provincial COGTA, Sekhukhune District Municipality and Elias Motsoaledi Municipality to drive the immediate interventions that will help alleviate water scarcity in Moutse.

Similarly, the drought-stricken Eastern Cape Province continues to bear the brunt of the drought. This is amid official announcements by the Provincial Government declaring the situation in the province a disaster. The average dam levels are at 48.3% compared to 62.1% during the same period last year.

In Gauteng, due to the average rainfalls, dam levels improved almost drastically from 85.3% to 90.6% last week. At the same time last year, the provincial dam levels were at 96.4%. This week the dam levels dropped to 88.7%.

The DWS urges people to still use water sparingly as South Africa braves the drought.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System, consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom, is at a total of 88.7%.
  • The Cape Town Dam System, consisting of six dams serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is at 65.3% this week.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 48.3% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 53.2%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site.

Source: Capricorn Review