Gauteng residents urged to continue using water sparingly

Although more rainfall is expected until February, it will take some time before dam levels reach normal capacity.

Hartbeespoort Dam has been affected by a sewage spill that originated from the Jukskei River in Gauteng. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Water and Sanitation Department says although recordings have shown that levels at the Vaal Dam have increased from 26.4 percent to 30 percent, this doesn’t mean the Gauteng province is out of the woods in terms of the drought and has again urged residents to use water sparingly.

The increase in the dam levels can be attributed to the recent storms in Gauteng.

The department says although more rainfall is expected until February next year it will still take some time before dam levels reach normal capacity.

Department spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase says although the rising dam levels is good news, Gauteng residents are still expected to save water, as it will take two to three years to get back to normal capacity.

“We must still emphasise that we’re not out of the woods yet, we must continue to save water, and for the dams to fully recover it’s going to take another two to three years.”

He says water restrictions are therefore still in place.

“So nobody nowhere should start making a mistake that we’re now out of the woods and we can start using wastefully. The situation is still dire, the situation is still serious and we must continue implementing the restrictions and our people must continue saving water.”

The Vaal Dam system consists of 14 dams, mainly servicing the Gauteng province, with at least 13 million users.

The Water and Sanitation Department says between the 14 dams that make up this system, the Vaal Dam is at the lowest because it evaporates at a faster rate.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)