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Water restrictions still in place despite heavy rains

The Water Department’s Sputnik Ratau says while the Vaal Dam levels have improved, the rate of water inflow into the dam has slowed down.

A gate at the Vaal Dam is opened. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Water and Sanitation Department says while there’s been a significant improvement in levels at the Vaal and Bloemhof dams, water restrictions are still in place until further notice.

The department has confirmed the Vaal Dam levels have now increased to 95.2%, the highest it’s been in two years.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is due to give further details on the status of water nationally at a briefing which will be held at the Vaal Dam this afternoon.

The Water Department’s Sputnik Ratau said while the Vaal Dam levels have improved, the rate of water inflow into the dam has slowed down.

Ratau says while they had hoped the dam would reach the 100% mark today, they expect it to reach capacity between Monday and Tuesday.

Mokonyane is also due to hold a briefing this afternoon where she will give an update on the status of the drought and dam levels country wide.

At the same time, levels at the Bloemhof Dam have also seen improvement exceeding the 81% mark.

The department says it is closely monitoring the situation around both dams and will open sluice gates to avoid their banks from bursting.

Ratau said a few sluice gates have already been opened at the Bloemhof Dam.

“We started releasing the water on Friday at about 250 cubic meters per second and therefore, both Bloemhof and Vaal Dam will continue to be monitored very stringently over the next few days.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)