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Dept of Water says SA still in grips of drought

The department’s Sputnik Ratau says dam levels have dropped by over 20% in the last year.

Water bucket. Picture: Freeimages

JOHANNESBURG - The Water and Sanitation Department says South Africa is still in the grips of a drought and the situation is likely to worsen.

The department says that since July, dam levels have been dropping by one percent every week and municipalities that have implemented water restrictions will continue to do so.

Water and Sanitation's Sputnik Ratau says dam levels have dropped by over 20% since this time last year.

He says the department is hoping for heavy rains this summer to help dam levels to recover.

"Last year this time we were at 71%, this week we're at 51.9%."

Ratau has dismissed claims that the water quality in the country has deteriorated, saying the department has prioritised the delivery of clean, consumable water.

"Well the water quality in South Africa is still one of those that's at the top of pile when you look at it worldwide. We're still one of the few where you can drink directly from the tap."

Ratau says the department has started considering using underground water but no decisions have yet been made.