Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
2 minute read
22 Jul 2021
2:16 pm

Water Department warns of low dam levels in parts of SA

Narissa Subramoney

Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces showed improvement in their water levels this week

Vaal Dam. Picture for illustrative purposes on ly: Nigel Sibanda

The Department of Water and Sanitation has warned that the country’s dam levels are declining amid a dry winter season. The weekly report on the state of reservoirs show that the volume of water stored has declined from last week’s 83.3% to 82.8% this week.

Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces showed improvement in their water levels this week, while other provinces had experienced marginal decline.

The Western Cape has enjoyed good rainfall in the province recently, while Northern Cape dam levels significantly increased from 87.2% last week to 91% this week. Gauteng’s water levels are stable at 97.1%.

ALSO READ: Sluices stay closed as Vaal Dam reaches 100% capacity

“The past rainfalls in in the Western Cape have boosted the provincial water storage and are now at 82.4% this week, an improvement from last week’s 79.4%. It is also a great improvement from last year’s water levels which stood at 65.3% during this time,” said Ratau.

Despite these improved water levels, Ratau has urged Western Cape residents to continue using water sparingly to ensure water security in the province.

North West water storage levels have drastically improved, with water levels at 80.2% compared to 69.6% last year at this time. The province’s three main dams are at hovering over full capacity, with Klipvoor and Bospoort dams sitting at 100.7% and 100.0% respectively, while Buffelspoort Dam dropped slightly from 100.% to 99.9%.

Mpumalanga water supply decreased from last week’s 84.1% to 83.6%. Three of the province’s dam levels showed slight decreases this week, but it is a great improvement compared to last year this time, when the province’s water supply dropped to 57.3%.

Limpopo also showed a slight improvement this week, but supply is on a downward trajectory. This week’s reading stands at 84.1% compared to last week’s 84.7%.

Nearly all of Limpopo’s dams have decreased water levels, the worst hit being in Mopani region, where the critically low Middle-Letaba Dam dropped to 8.8% compared to last week’s 9.0%. The Mopani region has been experiencing severe drought since 2014.

Eastern Cape water storage levels remain stable 50.5% this week, but the province supply is also dropping weekly. The dams supplying residents living in Nelson Mandela Bay are at critically low capacity at 10.1% this week. The department has been supplying heavily affected regions with water tanks.

Free State dam levels dwindled slightly from last week’s 95.5% to 94.8% this week. This is, however, a significant improvement from last year’s 40.5% at this time.

KwaZulu-Natal storage capacity decreased from last week’s 71.4% to 70.4% this week. The Albert Falls Dam which supplies water to the eThekwini Metro and surrounds has decreased from 53.3% to 52.9%. Last year this time levels were at 39.8%.