Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
29 Jan 2021
10:19 am

Eloise continues to bless SA’s dam levels

Nica Richards

However encouraging dam levels across the country are, now is not the time to stop saving water - winter is fast approaching.

The Vaal Dam. Picture: Water Wise

Water levels across the country continue to look encouraging, as the offshoots of tropical storm Eloise continue to bring cooler, wetter weather to South Africa. 

The Vaal Dam is currently at 75%, flowing at a rate of 15.019 m³/s. 

And due to cooler weather, evaporation rates are currently at 2.0mm. 

Other dams in the integrated system are over 100%, with Grootdraai at 100.6%, Bloemhof at 107%, and Sterkfontein at 96.4%. 

Rand Water media liaison Justice Mohale confirmed that sluice gates have not yet needed to be opened, however. 

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

On Thursday, the Department of Water and Sanitation reported that dam levels in Limpopo were currently at 64.7%, a significant improvement from 60.3% last week. And during the same time last year, Limpopo dam levels were at 61.6%. 

Nandoni Dam in the province’s Vhembe District, which forms part of the Luvuvhu Water Supply System, is currently at 106.2%. This time last year, it was at 91.9%. 

Mpumalanga’s dam levels continue to increase, with some areas reporting increases from 5% to 30%. 

The department said the “drastic improvement” in Mpumalanga dam levels in the Ehlanzeni District “is a major contributor to the improved water situation in the Mpumalanga province”.

Dam levels in KwaZulu-Natal were also remaining steady, and were currently at 59.4%. 

The department said the Umgeni Water Supply System, which consists of five dams, was in “a firm state”, currently at 75.7%. 

ALSO READ: Disruptive rain, thunderstorms expected as Eloise returns to SA

Slight declines are being experienced at some dams in the system, such as Nagle Dam, down to 85.2% from 92.3% last week. 

Dams in the drought-stricken Northern Cape province are also benefitting from Eloise, with the Vanderkloof Dam reported at 103.1%, spilling with an outflow of 733 m3/s. 

However encouraging dam levels across the country are, now is not the time to stop saving water. 

Winter is fast approaching, with many regions experience little to no rainfall during this time. 

Here are some easy tips to save water fast: 

  • Close the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth;
  • Fix leaking taps as soon as possible – it is costly for the consumer and the environment;
  • Place a bucket in your shower to collect water while you wait for it to get hot; and 
  • Try to avoid washing cars and paving with hosepipes – rather use soapy water in a bucket. 

For in-depth information and tips on how to save water, read more here: EXPLAINER: Why reusing water is a lifeline for SA’s freshwater

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