Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
23 Sep 2021
12:47 pm

Vaal Dam levels still stable but for how long?

Nica Richards

The dam’s levels currently stand at 84.6% - 50% more than this time last year, but 1.2% less than it was last week. 

The Vaal Dam wall is seen with during a period of heavy rains, 3 January 2021. The dam is at 82% full at this stage. Picture: Michel Bega

Although Vaal Dam levels are far from reaching critical levels, the Department of Water and Sanitation has implored consumers to use water responsibly. 

The dam’s levels currently stand at 84.6% – 50% more than this time last year, but 1.2% less than it was last week. 

The department says it is concerned that Vaal Dam levels continue to decline, and with summer just starting, months of sweltering heat lay ahead for Gauteng. 

The Vaal Dam is Gauteng’s main source of water supply, with the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) consisting of 14 dams. 

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

The system is currently in a stable position, but if any dams decline, it is this system that must be able to withstand the pressure put on it. 

The Vaal Dam has a storage capacity of 2.57 billion cubic metres, and its shoreline stretches 880km through Gauteng, the Free State and Mpumalanga. 

Other dams’ statuses 

In addition to raising a cautionary alarm about the Vaal Dam, the department said the Grootdraai Dam fell from 78.1% to 76.8% this week. 

Bloemhof Dam is currently at 103.3%, compared to 104.3% last week. 

The Sterkfontein Dam, a reserve for the IVRS, is at 103.3%, down from 104.3% last week. 

In Lesotho, both the Katse and Mohale dams continue to decline, both of which currently stand at concerning levels. 

The Mohale Dam is at 30.3%. Last week, it was at 30.6%. This is, however, better than this time last year, when it stood at just 4.6%. 

The Katse Dam dropped from 64.6% to 64.1% this week. 

Save water every day

Rand Water and everyday consumers use 5,000 megalitres of water every single day. 

Here are some easy ways to save water on a daily basis. 

  • Put a bucket in your shower which gathers water while you wait for it to get hot. This can be used to water your garden.
  • Take quick showers and, if you take a bath, make sure not to fill it to the brim
  • Close the tap while washing your hands and brushing your teeth 
  • Do not leave the hosepipe on while washing your car or paving. Rather rinse, soap and rinse again.
  • Fix any leaks or broken taps