National water levels continue to drop

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The steady gradual decline of the national dam levels continues amid fears that the downslide will accelerate at alarming proportions in the coming weeks, Department of Water and Sanitation said on Tuesday.

The weekly dam levels report shows that the national water levels of South Africa’s 211 dams stand at 69.5% as measured on 31 July 2017, compared to 52.8% during the same time last year.

A week ago the dam levels stood at 69.9% and this week saw a drop of 0.4%.

“This downwards trend of the country’s reservoirs is worrisome and the Department of Water and Sanitation appeals to communities, including businesses across the spectrum to use the resource with extra care,” the department said in a statement.

The provincial water levels decreased by 0.4% to 56.2% in Eastern Cape, 0.5% to 81.1% in Free State, 0.1% to 88.7% in Gauteng and went down by 1.0% to 54.1% in KwaZulu-Natal.

In Limpopo, the dam levels also went down by 0.3% to 76.5%, Mpumalanga down by 0.3% to 76.6% and down by 0.6% to 82.2% in North West.

The Northern Cape dam level went up to 91.3% from 87.3%, while the Western Cape saw a slight increase by 1.1% to 27.3%.

The Algoa System, serving five dams around the Nelson Mandela Bay, decreased by 0.7% to 32.0% from 32.7% last week. The system was at 72.4% during the same time last year.

Amathole System with six dams serving Buffalo City decreased by 0.9% to 62.7%. Last year the system was at 83.4%. 

The Bloemfontein System with four dams serving mainly Mangaung dropped by a point to 44.8% compared with 34.4% at the same time last year.

The Cape Town System with six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town gained from 27.0% to 27.4%. The system was at 52.7% during the same time last year.

The Crocodile West System with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg dropped by 0.8% to 97.4%. The system was recorded at 95.6% during the same time last year.

The Integrated Vaal River System with 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom has decreased by 0.7% to 80.2% compared with 54.9% recorded during the same time last year.

The Umgeni Dam System with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msunduzi dropped from 60.3% to 59.7%. The System was at 48.3% last year.

The department reminded water users that South Africa is a water scarce country and all the available water must be used with due diligence to avoid running out. –

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