Dam levels drop slightly

Pretoria � The Department of Water and Sanitation has reported a slight decrease in capacity of dams in all provinces, with the exception of Northern Cape where there is a slight increase.

Based on our 5 June 2017 report, the national water storage has once again decreased slightly week on week, and is down by 0.3% to 72.1%, the department said.

Provincial levels

Compared to the previous week, the provincial dam levels in Eastern Cape are down 0.9% to 60.3%, Free State 0.2% to 84.2%, Gauteng 0.3% to 91.5%, KwaZulu-Natal 0.2% to 58.2%, Limpopo 0.2% to 77.8%, Mpumalanga 0.3% to 78.9% and North West down 0.5% to 88.

While the Western Cape dam levels are down 0.3% to 17.7%, the Northern Cape dam level is up 2.4% to 89%.

Water Supply Systems

The Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay decreased to 0.9% from 37. 2% this week. This time last year it was at 76%.

The department said this system will require special focus as it is significantly lower than last year.

Normally this system does get some benefit from the cold fronts during the winter season.

The Amathole System with six dams serving Buffalo City this week saw a decrease of 0.7% to 68.8%, last year it was at 86.6%.

Dams significantly lower than last year may have to consider restrictions, this will be determined when the systems analysis is done during June, the department said.

Bloemfontein System with four dams serving mainly Mangaung went down by 0.6% to 50.8% compared with 33.9% the same time last year.

The department said there is still flow in the Caledon River and they continue to pump from the Tienfontein Pump station on the Caledon. Restrictions are still in place. Still not meeting target restrictions.

The Cape Town Dams System with six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week decreased by 0.3% to 19.1%. This time last year it was at 29.2%.

The Voelvlei dam level is up 1% to 1.7%. The department noted that there were problems with the gauge plates, which have now been attended to.

The Berg River Dam is down 0.7% to 28.7%, while the Theewaterskloof is down by 0.2% to 13.3%. The Wemmershoek is down by 1.4% to 35.1%.

The department said that the restrictions for domestic 20% and agriculture 30%, are in place.

The City of Cape Town is now on Level 4 restrictions which were implemented from 1 June 2017 with the corresponding punitive tariffs effective from 1 July 2017.

Crocodile West system with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenberg have seen a slight decrease of 0.3% to 98.5%. At the same time last year the system was at 95.6%.

The Vaal River System with 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom was down 0.5% to 84.1% compared with 58% the same time last year.

Katse Dam is down 1.2% to 43.2%, with the Vaal Dam down 1.0% to 98.9%.

The Sterkfontein Dam is down 0.1% to 90.4%. The Grootdraai Dam is down 0.5% to 89.8%. Bloemhof is down 0.4% to 101.6%.

The department said that the System Operating Forum will now only meet in June 2017 to consider the operating rule for the 2017/18 hydrological year.

Umgeni Dam system with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msunduzi went down 0.3% to 64% this week. The system was at 53.3% last year.

Hazelmere is up to 121% (capacity has not been amended to reflect the new capacity of the dam as a result of the raising of the wall).

Albert Falls is down 0.1% to 34%. Midmar Dam is down 0.4% to 80.7%.

There are no changes in restrictions of 15% for domestic, 50% for irrigation and 15% for industry at this stage, the department said.

Dams on watch list

Other KwaZulu-Natal dams which are on the watch list include Klipfontein, which had a slight increase of 0.4% to 67.5%; Goedertrouw up 0.5% to 33.6%; Pongolapoort steady at 40.2% and Hluhluwe which is up 0.6% to 73.8%.

Restrictions are in place for Richards Bay and are monitored on a weekly basis.

The Orange River: The Gariep Dam down 0.8% to 86% and Van Der Kloof Dam up 1.2% to 70%.

The department reiterated its call for water users to use water wisely as most dam levels continue to decline.

It is important to note that South Africa is considered a water scarce country, therefore water users are urged to play an active role in the protection of our water resources.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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