Agricultural, mining sector urged to use water sparingly

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Department of Water and Sanitation has urged the agricultural sector and mining industry, and all Northern Cape residents to continue using water wisely and sparingly.

“Report all who are using water illegally, that is, those without a water use license, those who are abstracting more water than allocated, water thieves, and water and sanitation infrastructure vandals - by reporting them to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s toll free number 0800 200 200,” said department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

Ratau also warned that it is illegal to divert a water course or stream to store water for personal activities.

“All water users are further urged to fix burst and leaking pipes and regularly monitor boreholes to adhere to recommended yields. Behavioural change in water consumption will contribute immensely towards sustaining water availability in the Northern Cape,” Ratau said.

According to the department’s latest weekly state of reservoirs report, water availability in the Northern Cape is at 91.6% full.

This means that the Northern Cape’s Full Water Supply Capacity (FSC) of 146.3 million m3 (cubic metres) is currently at 134.1 million m3.

The Vanderkloof Dam which borders the Free State and Northern Cape is at 63.08%, whilst Bloemhof Dam recorded 107.09%.

In the Lower Orange River System, Prieska is at 69.6% and Blouputs is just below the Augrabies Water Fall at 58.52%.

Water storage weirs decrease

The report also noted that water storage weirs in the Northern Cape are on a decline, with Douglas Storage Weir decreasing from last week’s 109.8% to 109.3%, Vaalharts from 85.2% to 83%.

Spitskop decreased from last week’s 102.6% to 102.2%.

The Boegoeberg is at 72.5%, while the Karee Dam is at 19.2% this week.

Ratau highlighted that the Northern Cape has balancing dams, not storage dams.

“The difference being that storage dams’ primary purpose is for long term water storage. Balancing dams are designed to act as multipurpose facilities by diverting water into canals, pipelines or they act as pump stations. Therefore, availability in the Northern Cape fluctuates and varies from week to week,” he said. –