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DWS: SA dams in good shape despite drop in levels

A weekly assessment conducted by the Water and Sanitation Department revealed that national water levels have dropped due to the dry winter conditions.

FILE: Approximately 400,000 cubic meters of water was released from the Vaal dam on 26 February 2017 after the dam reached 97.8 % capacity following heavy rains across Gauteng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Despite a decrease in dam levels, the country is still in a good place compared to this time last year.

A weekly assessment conducted by the Water and Sanitation Department revealed that national water levels have dropped due to the dry winter conditions.

Water restrictions in all provinces remain in place except for Gauteng.

The department’s Sputnik Ratau says: “If you look at it in the crudest form, we’re still about 18% above the levels that we were a year ago when we look at the national average.”

WESTERN CAPE DROUGHT

The Western Cape Government earlier this week stressed that recent rains seen across parts of the province aren’t enough to beat back the drought.

Dam levels have increased, slightly, by an average of around 4% over the past fortnight.

The City of Cape Town has reiterated it won’t lift water restrictions but may have to further intensify them.

On Monday, the city issued an appeal to industry to assist in coming up with solutions to augment the city’s potable water supply, with dam levels now at 23.1%.

The city says level 4 water restrictions will remain in place indefinitely and could even be intensified over the long term.

It will take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover.

And a tough summer is predicted next year.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)