SA’s dam levels likely to soar over 55% in run-up to Christmas - DWS

The department said there had been a significant improvement in at least seven provinces including Gauteng, which recorded water levels at 96% while the Eastern Cape had risen to 51%.

Vaal dam. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - After months of dry conditions, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Thursday said the recent torrential summer rains were improving dam levels across the country.

The department said there had been a significant improvement in at least seven provinces including Gauteng, which recorded water levels at 96% while the Eastern Cape had risen to 51%.

Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West, the Northern Cape, and the Free State also recorded more rainfall after most regions were scrambling for water.

“The latest weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation shows that for the past two weeks dam levels have been on the rise at one percent a week. And with more rains expected in the run-up to Christmas, it is likely that the levels may soon soar to 55% and beyond, which will be remarkable,” said the DWS’ spokesperson Sputnik Ratau in a statement.

“In the past weeks, vast parts of the country have been soaked with torrential rains that have changed the water situation drastically. The current heavy downpours have increased Gauteng dam levels by five percent from 91,7% to 96,1% since the beginning of December. The increased levels, which include the Vaal Dam, will bring the much-needed relief to Gauteng water users who were worried about the state of low levels of the dam at the beginning of summer.”

Only Limpopo and the Western Cape showed slight declines of about 1%.

Ratau said the decline in Cape Town was as a result of rising temperatures and the end of the rainy season.

“The Department of Water Sanitation has urged water users in rural and peri-urban areas to harvest as much water as they can in the rainy season for future use in the dry winter. Water users in urban areas have been asked to use water wisely and sparingly as the country was not out of the woods yet,” he said.

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