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Gauteng needs to save up its own water for winter, says department

The department believes if Gauteng sends water bottles to the Western Cape, the province might find itself with more water restrictions.

FILE: About 400,000 cubic metres 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: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Water and Sanitation Department says despite the Vaal Dam reaching more than 100% capacity, Gauteng residents must not send water to drought-stricken Cape Town.

The department believes if Gauteng sends water bottles to the Western Cape, the province might find itself with more water restrictions.

On Thursday, the Vaal Dam reached its maximum capacity but will not be released as it can top to 125% before it becomes a risk.

Gauteng residents, schools and activists are continuing with campaigns to collect water for the Western Cape.
But the department's Sputnik Ratau says Gauteng needs to save up their own water for the winter.

“The Western Cape will be getting into its own rainy season in winter, so the kind of reversal will still allow us to go through the next season with sufficient water.”

Two weeks ago, the cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize declared the water crisis a national state of disaster.

WATCH: Farmers losing harvests as Matzikama area heads for Day Zero

Agri Western Cape says far more rain is needed before the province could start recovering from the crippling drought.

The organisation welcomed the recent showers across areas which are experiencing the worst drought in a century.
It adds that farmers need heavy rain and mountain snowfall to replenish dams and aquifers.

The City of Cape Town is maintaining level 6b water restrictions in a bid to prolong the supply of potable water to residents.

Agri Western Cape's Carl Opperman says: “There is a lot of dust settling, but we’re waiting on serious rain and snowfall to get our dams flowing again.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)