News / South Africa

Steven Tau
1 minute read
13 Mar 2017
7:04 pm

Department lifts Gauteng water restrictions

Steven Tau

Municipalities within the Rand Water area of supply will be affected by the lifting of the restrictions.

Tap file picture.

Water restrictions in Gauteng have officially been lifted, effective on Monday, the department of water and sanitation has said.

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the lifting of water restrictions in the province followed recent rains that had resulted in water flowing into the integrated Vaal River system, consisting of 14 dams, which mainly serve Gauteng.

“The river system has been increasing week-on-week, and was at 95.9% as per the readings dated March 6,” Ratau said.

The Gauteng municipalities within the Rand Water area of supply will be affected by the lifting of the restrictions.

Other smaller towns, including Potchefstroom, Standerton and third party users supplied via the Vaal River eastern and Usutu sub-system augmentation projects will also have their restrictions lifted.

Gauteng has had positive outcomes from the recent rains, but the department says South Africa remains in a drought, and is a water scarce country.

With the rest of the country as dry as ever, the department has again urged everyone to use water sparingly.

At some point, toward the end of last year, the Vaal Dam, which supplies water to Gauteng, had dwindled to alarming low levels of 25%, prompting authorities to embark on a replenishing exercise that resulted in volumes of water being released from the storage reserve, Sterkfontein Dam.

This happened as several municipalities had implemented water restrictions, preventing residents from using hosepipes to wash their cars and paving areas, and watering their gardens between 6am and 6pm.

A series of torrential rains, coupled with the water released from the Sterkfontein Dam, saw levels at the Vaal Dam increase rapidly.

But the bad news was that the drought in the Western Cape was expected to persist, with hope that the coming winter season would bring the needed rainfall.

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