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DWS: Low water levels in Lesotho won't affect Gauteng water supply

Low water levels in the Lesotho Highlands water project dams have reduced supply to Gauteng but officials said there was no cause for concern just yet.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Low water levels in the Lesotho Highlands water project dams have reduced supply to Gauteng but officials said there was no cause for concern just yet.

The project supplies up to 70% of water to Gauteng, which had already been reduced due to drought.

Levels at the Katse Dam was set at 18% while the Mohale Dam was 33% full.

The Lesotho Highlands water project was expected to transfer R636 million cubic meters of water to South Africa this year, but the project’s Reentseng Molapo said that was unlikely.

“The dam levels at Katse is around 18% - that is the amount of water that can be transferred to South Africa - and at Mohale is about 40%. We are still able to deliver approved quantities currently but for this year we are transferring reduced amounts due prevailing drought conditions.”

Department of Water spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said dam levels, in general, were low due to the winter season, but low snowfall levels in Lesotho affected water supplies from the kingdom.

“The project gives Gauteng close to 60% to 70% of water but the Vaal River catchment within the country are also helpful, so even with the maintenance work we are not negatively concerned.”

The planned outage is for routine five-yearly maintenance and the department has given assurances that it has enough water to take Gauteng through that period.

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