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Joburg Water: Water supply shortage due to low Vaal Dam level

The utility says that the water level at the Vaal Dam, which mainly services Gauteng, is currently sitting at 27%.

Water runs from a tap. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Joburg Water says several parts of the city are without supply due to the Vaal Dam levels decreasing weekly.

A number of areas including Northcliff and surrounds as well as some parts of the CBD have not had supply for several days now.

The utility says water levels at the Vaal Dam which mainly services Gauteng are currently sitting at below 27%.

Joburg Water says it’s working on supplying affected areas with water tankers.

Spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene says: “The problem with water supply is at its lowest because the Vaal Dam is very low, it’s at about 27%. It supplies four municipalities in Gauteng. We’re struggling with supply.”

At the same time, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says her department will release some water from the Sterkfontein Dam next week, to protect the 25% minimum level of the Vaal Dam.

The Vaal River System has 14 dams which mainly services Gauteng’s 13 million users.

Mokonyane said that among the dams that make up this system, the Vaal Dam is at the lowest because it evaporates at a faster rate.

Levels at the dam have now decreased by 0.9% week-on-week to 26.4%.

Meanwhile, the Sterkfontein Dam, which holds reserved water, has increased by 0.4% to 91.5% and some of the water there will be used to assist with the Vaal Dam levels.

Mokonyane’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said: “We have already started now and will commence with some releases from the Sterkfontein Dam on 7 November. That will allow us to release water in a staggered fashion to start supplementing and augmenting the water that is in the Vaal Dam.”

He said the ministry has seen behavioural change in the usage of water in Gauteng, but a lot still needs to be done.

“There is starting to be some response; people are starting to save some water but obviously it requires more of us to save some water. We must start naming and shaming those use water unwisely and irresponsibly, we must report them to authorities so that they can start enforcing the law.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)