Water availability diminishes slowly from dams

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pretoria – As winter gradually sneaks in, the Department of Water and Sanitation has appealed to consumers to use water sparingly and save it.

The department reported that water is steadily dissipating from dams, causing the resource availability to diminish slowly. 

“The core message is that all Water Service Authorities (WSAs) should implement Water Conservation and Water Demand Management strategies, while informing communities about the intended water restriction process,” the department said in a statement.

The department said that winter rainfalls are also of great concern as the country has not yet had any significant rain to relieve pressure on the dams.

“Water is dwindling steadily from the dams, with the prospects of another El Nino. This means each and every drop of water should be saved.”

The Western Cape Province is experiencing severe water shortages. However, the South African Weather Services (SAWS) has already predicted that the province will experience some rainfall this month.

Average dam levels

Based on 1 May 2017 recordings, the average dam levels (National Storage of 211 dams) have decreased slightly week on week and are down from 72.9% last week to 72.7% this week.

The department noted that this is an improvement compared with 54.3% same time last year’s when levels were at 54.3% this same time.

Algoa System

The Algoa System, with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay decreased to 40.6% from 41.4%.  Last year the system was recorded at 79.3%.

Amathole System

The Amathole System, with six dams serving Buffalo City, decreased from 71.4% to 70.9%. Last year, the system was at 88.5%. 

Bloemfontein System

The Bloemfontein System, with four dams serving mainly Mangaung, rose by 0.3% (from 51.2% to 51.5%) and was at 32.7% during the same time last year.

Cape Town Dams System

The Cape Town Dams System with six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town has decreased to 22.3% from 22.9%%.  The system was at 31.7% at the same time last year.

The City of Cape Town are now contemplating introducing Level 4 restrictions. The Western Cape Water Indaba will be held on 16 May 2017.

Crocodile West System

The Crocodile West System, with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg decreased slightly by 0.4% (from 99.7% to 99.3%). During the same time last year, the system recorded at 95.4%.

Integrated Vaal River System

The Integrated Vaal River System, with 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom has increased by 0.1% (from 84.2% to 84.1%). The system was at 59.5% during the same time last year.

Umgeni Dam System

The Umgeni Dam System, with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msunduzi, decreased from 62.7% to 62.4%. During the same time last year, the system was at 54.5%. – SAnews.gov.za

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