Dam levels stable for now

6th February 2019

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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South Africa’s dam levels have stabilised at a national average of 62.5%, with most dams’ water levels expected to rise with more rain and cooler weather over the next week.

Intermittent thundershowers in parts of South Africa have stabilised dam levels, while the South African Weather Service has predicted more rains for Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal this weekend.

In its weekly statement, released on Wednesday, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said dam levels in Gauteng, where the rainfall has been consistent since last weekend, had increased from 92.8% last week to the current 94.4%.

The decrease in Gauteng’s hot temperatures is believed to have played a significant role in the rise of dam levels, with reduced rates of evaporation.

The average dam levels across the Free State and Mpumalanga stood at 70.3% and 68.8% respectively, while consistent rains in KwaZulu-Natal are expected to lead to a further increase in provincial dam levels from the current 75.6%.

The Eastern Cape experienced an increase from 56% to 58% over the past week.

However, the Western Cape’s dam levels continue to slide, as the provincial dams declined from 52.9% last week to 51.4% this week.

The continued depletion is likely to lead to stringent water restrictions to reduce water consumption.

The Voëlvlei, Misverstand and Berg River dams, which supply the City of Cape Town, have recorded levels of 73.2%, 102.1% and 81% respectively.

“Although Makhanda, in the Eastern Cape, was faced with the worst water crisis after the local river dropped its level to a mere 6% two weeks ago, scattered thundershowers have improved the situation slightly, as the dam level this week improved to 8.1%,” the DWS said.

The DWS has formed a partnership with the local municipality and the provincial government to alleviate the effect of water shortages in Makhanda.

In Limpopo, the average dam levels are at 59.8% this week, a slight decrease from 60.2% last week.

Although some parts of Northern Cape are beginning to experience dry conditions and exceedingly high temperatures, the province recorded water levels of 66.3%, the department concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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