Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
18 Dec 2021
5:59 pm

Vaal Dam full to the brim, thanks to recent rains

Nica Richards

Vaal Dam storage currently sits at 100.4%.

The Vaal Dam, which has breached 100% storage for the second time this year. Photo for illustration: Bega

Sustained rainfall has resulted in the Vaal Dam breaching 100% storage, up almost 10% from this time last week. 

Over the past few weeks, the South African Weather Service has issued a number of weather warnings throughout the country. 

But for the Vaal Dam, with a catchment area of 38 500km², to fill up completely, this means good rain fell throughout the dam’s catchment areas.

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

The Vaal Dam currently sits at 100.4%.

As of 15 December, Rand Water reported the Sterkfontein Dam as being at 100.5% storage, and the Grootdraai Dam at 103.6%.

The Bloemhof Dam is currently at 105.1% ,while the Gariep Dam sits at 101.7%. The Vanderkloof is currently at 99.1%.

The Integrated Vaal River System consists of 14 dams.

This is the second time this year where the dam has breached 100% storage. On 10 March, the Department of Water and Sanitation confirmed the Vaal Dam stood at 105%.

Mpumalanga dam improvements 

The DWS said earlier this week the counting rainfall was welcomed in the Mpumalanga province, with average dam levels recording major improvements.

The Olifants Water Management Area improved from 68% last week to 72.4% as of Wednesday, while the Grootdraai Dam increased from 88.2% to 101.9%. 

Although improvements spell good news for residents, agriculture and communities, members of the public are urged to be careful when heavy rainfall is predicted, and to avoid flood areas. 

ALSO READ: Weather: Severe storm and flood warnings issued across large parts of SA

Komati River, Maguga Dam warnings 

The DWS issued warnings this week for communities residing next to the Komati River, downstream from eSwatini’s Maguga Dam, to be “extra cautious”. 

This as water levels increase due to the dam overflowing, owed to continuous rainfall. 

On the South African side of the Komati River, the Vygeboom Dam sits at over 100%, but was at the time recorded as spilling, not flooding. 

Residents were reminded not to cross flooded rivers or bridges, and to move to higher ground once rivers and streams begin to flood. 

People were also told not to build any infrastructure along or below flood lines. 

Despite the welcome rainfall for the country, which is semi-arid and water scarce, the Department reminded all consumers to use water sparingly despite current weather conditions. 

“Water has no substitute, therefore, let us all be responsible water users and make every precious drop count.”