According to a weekly dam levels report released by the department of water and sanitation this week, the Vaal Dam has plunged to lower levels compared to the same period last year.
The dam is currently at 55.1%, down from 55.8% last week whereas during the same period last year, the dam was floating at an impressive 70.3%.
“The drop indicates that the dam has been on a steady decline for a number of months,” said the department.
This is a stark contrast from a report which was released earlier this month that stated that dam levels across the country remain steady compared to the same period last year, with only the Eastern Cape below the 50% capacity.
The department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau was even quoted as saying, “the good news is that the Vaal Dam, a source of water for Gauteng’s economy, remains stable at 76.1%.”
The Vaal Dam is part of 14 dams forming part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) and is responsible for providing water to petro-chemical giant Sasol and the electricity generating company Eskom.
The IVRS has also dropped slightly from last week’s 66.4% to 66.3%, a slight difference from the 68% the dam recorded in the previous year at the same time.
The Grootdraai Dam remained the same at 99%, recorded last week. Similarly unchanged from its last week’s levels is the Sterkfontein Dam, which is at 92.7% this week.
Both the Katse and Mohale dams continue to float at concerning levels this week.
Katse Dam levels has increased from 33.8% to 34% this week, while the Mohale Dam dropped from 13.4% last week to 13% this week.
“Given that most of the dams are either dropping or remain stagnant, the Gauteng Water and Sanitation has called on water users in the province to use water sparingly as the country moves towards to the dry winter season.
“Being alert and cautious not to use water excessively will play a key role [in] ensuring that the province does not find itself in a calamitous situation in next coming months,” concluded the department.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)