Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Nov 2020
4:31 pm

SA’s dam levels stable following heavy rain

Citizen Reporter

The country's dam levels are expected to improve in the run-up to the festive season when parts of the country will experience flash floods, according to Department of Water and Sanitation.

Vaal Dam. Picture: Randburg Sun

The country’s water storage has shown some signs of stability as dam levels slightly increased following heavy rain across some parts of the country earlier this week and at weekend, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) confirmed.

The department revealed that the country’s average dam levels went up from 62.2% to 62.6% in comparison to the previous week, while more rainfall was expected for the coming days.

“It is expected that South Africa’s dam levels will improve exponentially in the run-up to the festive season when parts of the country will experience flash floods. However, the department has urged water users to continue saving water as the country was not out of the woods yet,” department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said in a statement.

Ratau said Gauteng’s dam levels – whose main supplier was Vaal Dam – increased from 90.8% to 91.7%, while the Free State’s dams – including Gariep, Vanderkloof and Sterkfontein – also increased from 71.6% last week to 72.1%.

“The rains also had a positive impact on Northern Cape as the province’s dams increased from 89.5% to 90.1% this week.

READ MORE: Why the Vaal Dam doesn’t fill up after every thunderstorm

“However, as the Western Cape approaches its hydrological season of winter rains at the end of November, the province’s dam levels have begun their marginal downward slide week-on-week. According to the department’s latest weekly report on dam levels, the province dropped its levels from 80% to 79,5% this week.”

He further noted that KwaZulu-Natal and North West’s dams also benefited from the heavy rains.

“Dams in KwaZulu-Natal soared from 52.7% to 53.3% while North West dams increased marginally 62.5% to 63.2%.”

Meanwhile, Mpumalanga and Limpopo’s dam levels dropped by 1%.

“The situation remains dire in the Mopani region where the big three dams – Tzaneen, Middle-Letaba and Modjadji – hover below 10%.”

Ratau added that the department urged people in the rural communities – who did not have access to potable water – to take the opportunity of harvesting as much water during summer to sustain them through dry conditions.

Rainfall expectations

The rain forecast for early summer indicated increased chances of above-normal rainfall over most parts of the country, according to the South Africa Weather Service (SAWS).

“The main focus will be on the summer rainfall areas in the northeast of South Africa. In general, most of the country is expected to experience above-normal temperatures during spring and late spring, with below-normal maximum temperatures predicted for the northeastern parts of the country during early summer.”

September-October-November 2020 (SON; left), October-November-December 2020 (OND; middle), November-December-January 2020 (NDJ; right) seasonal
precipitation prediction. Maps indicate the highest probability from three probabilistic categories namely Above-Normal, Near-Normal and Below-Normal. Source: South African Weather Service.

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