Call to use water sparingly as winter season sets in

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Department of Water and Sanitation has called on the public to utilise water with caution as the winter season sets in with a minimal amount of rainfall.

According to the department, South Africa’s water levels have slightly declined as the winter season sets in.

This week’s water levels demonstrated a minimal decline of water levels compared to the same period last week.

“This week, the overall storage capacity of the country’s water level sits at 95.4%, a slight decline from last week’s 96.2%, and a notable enhancement from last year’s 84.8%,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Thursday.

The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) has moderately decreased from 103.8% last week to 102.1% this week. Algoa, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Cape Town and Umgeni Water Supply Systems have all declined week on week.

The systems have respectively recorded 13.1%, 69.1%, 103.6%, 66.1% and 101.7% in the current week.

This is one of the major Water Supply Systems, which covers several provinces.

“Water Supply System that have improved in water levels are Amathole, Crocodile East, Klipplaat, Umhlathuze, Crocodile West and Orange River, whereas Luvuvhu is steady and unmoved at 101.7%.  

“Seven out of nine provinces have recorded a reduction in water levels namely, Free State moved down marginally from 105.9% to 105.2%, Eastern Cape dwindled moderately from 68.0% to 67.0%, Gauteng recorded a tiny downturn from 102.9% last week to 102.0%.

“Limpopo dropped slightly from 89.5% to 89.1%. The Northern Cape plummeted from 121.8% to 112.1%, Western Cape declined from 55.4% to 53.9% and the flood-hit KwaZulu-Natal also decreased from 94.3% to 93.0%,” the department said.

Only two provinces are on the increment trajectory. These include Mpumalanga, which elevated marginally from 95.2% to 95.3%, and North West stands at 80.1%, minimal expansion from last week’s 79.6%.

The Vaal and Grootdraai Dams, which are part of the IVRS, have slightly dropped from 111.6% to 107.1% and 103.1% to 102.6% respectively.

Both Gariep and Vanderkloof Dams which are part of Orange River Water Supply System have recorded increases from 104.9% and 105.8% to 106.0% and 106.8%.

“In the flood-hit KwaZulu-Natal, Albert Falls Dam, an integral part of the Umgeni Water Supply System, which supplies water to eThekwini Metro and surrounding areas declined from 102.9% to 101.7%. The Midmar Dam moved up from 102.8% last week to 100.7% this week.

“Waterdown Dam, as part of Klipplaat Water Supply System in the Eastern Cape has recorded a minor decline from 101.3% to 100.6%, Gubu Dam which forms part of Amathole Water Supply System has also dropped from 101.1% to 100.6% this week,” the department said.

Roodeplat Dam, which is a component of Crocodile West supplied by Pienaars River remained unchanged at last week’s 101.0%.

“In the Western Cape, which is a combination of parts that experience rainfall in winter and those that receive rainfall during other seasons; Berg River Dam dropped from 69.7% last week to 68.6%, and Clanwilliam Dam is below average at 32.6% from 35.3% last week. 

“Major Dams in Limpopo province such as Flag Boshielo Dam, which is part of Polokwane Water Supply System, has decreased from 106.6% to 104.8%, De Hoop Dam has recorded marginal reduction from 100.7 to 100.4% and Nandoni Dam recorded the slightest decline from 102.1% to 102.0%,” the department said.

In Mpumalanga, Nooitgedacht Dam, which is part of the IVRS supplied by Komati River has soared from 91.5% to 96.0%, Kwena Dam which is part of Crocodile East Water Supply System is moderately down from 101.0% last week to 100.6% this week.

“The department continues to work tirelessly with authorities in KwaZulu-Natal to rebuild infrastructure and restore water supply in the province following the recent devastation caused by floods,” the department said. –