Water and Sanitation on National water levels
National water levels persist to experience small scale reductions
The Department of Water and Sanitation’s weekly status of dams report reveal that the country’s water levels are on a continual decrease due to the lack of rains in the last few weeks. This week, the overall national storage capacity of the country’s reservoirs is at 92.6%, a small reduction from last week’s 92.9%, and a significant improvement from last year’s 82.3%.
The biggest Water Supply System, Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) with 14 dams across four provinces dipped faintly from 99.7% last week to 99.5% this week. Some of the Water Supply Systems that have declined are; Amathole from 74.7% last week to 74.3% this week, Butterworth from 99.6% to 99.3%. Both Crocodile East and West experienced a reduction by the tiniest margin from 100.3% to 100.2% and 99.1% to 98.4% respectively.
Continuing with the downward movement in as far as Water Supply System are concerned were Luvuvhu from 101.1% to 100.9%, Orange from 99.0% to 98.3%, Polokwane from 101.7% to 101.4%, and Umgeni dropped from 98.6% to 98.3%.
On the positive note, Algoa Water Supply System with dams supplying water to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is among the two systems that have recorded slight improvement, increasing from 14.9% last week to 15.0% this week. However, the system remains low as dams within it struggle to recover from the persisting drought in the area. Bloemfontein also experienced a marginal increase from 98.0% to 98.6%.
The following Water Supply Systems have shown no changes in water storage from last week; Cape Town is still sitting at 75.4% and Umhlathuze is unmoved at 100.1%.
Seven out of nine provinces have recorded downwards movements in water levels namely, Free State from 100.3% to 99.9%, KwaZulu-Natal from 89.4% to 89.1%, Limpopo from 88.2% to 88.1%, Gauteng from 100.7% to 100.5%, Mpumalanga from 95.2% to 95.1%, North West from 80.7% to 80.4% and Northern Cape from 107.3% to 105.2%.
On the improvement segment is Western Cape which increased from 63.2% to 63.6% and Eastern Cape from 69.9% to 70.0%.
The Gariep, which is South Africa’s largest dam, was 98.3% last week and is sitting at 97.7% this week. While Sterkfontein Dam, a reserve dam within IVRS, is at 100.4%, showing an increase from last week’s water level of 100.3%. Vaal Dam has declined from 102.1% to 101.4%.
The Department of Water and Sanitation continues to urge the public to save and use water sparingly as the country peters out the dry winter season. South Africa remains a water scarce country and is considered as one of the 30 driest countries in the world with an average rainfall of about 40% less than the annual world average rainfall. South Africa has an average annual rainfall of less than 500 mm, while that of the world is about 850 mm.
For more information, contact Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation on 082 874 2942
For media releases, speeches and news visit the Water & Sanitation portal at: www.dws.gov.za
Source: Government of South Africa