Heavy rainfall predicted in late summer, says water dept

6th September 2017 By: Anine Kilian - Contributing Editor Online

Although no heavy rains are expected at the beginning of the summer season, the South African Weather Services is predicting heavy showers towards the end of the period.

“The good news is that the El Nino phenomenon that brings with it the drought, will not hit South Africa this summer,” the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said in a statement on Wednesday.

However, the country’s dam levels are continuing to slide.

The DWS’s latest weekly report noted that average dam levels have dropped from 67.6% last week to 67.1% this week.

In the Western Cape, dams have reached critically low levels as the rainy season draws to a close, with an average of 33.7%. The Waterskloof and Voëlvlei dams are both at 26.2% and the Clanwilliam dam at 38.4%.

The average dam level for the province at this time last year was 61.5%, compared with last week’s average of 32.8%.

Meanwhile, in Gauteng, the Vaal dam is at 88.5%, compared with last week when it was at 89.2%

The low rainfall in winter has resulted in the Vaal River System, comprising 14 dams and serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and State-owned Eskom, to decrease slightly.

In the Eastern Cape, the Algoa System, with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay, decreased to 31.6% from 31.7%.

The Amathole System, with six dams serving Buffalo City, decreased from 62.5% to 61.7%.

In the Free State, the Bloemfontein System, with four dams serving mainly Mangaung, decreased to 39.8%.

The Umgeni dam system, in KwaZulu-Natal, decreased from 57% to 56.1%.

The North West’s dam levels seem to be stable, averaging at above 90% this week.

The Crocodile West System, which has six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg, decreased slightly to 93.7% this week.

The Northern Cape’s dam levels stood at 93.2% this week, while Limpopo’s dams are almost full, with Mokolo at 94.7%, Nandoni at 99.1% and De Hoop at 98%.

Mpumalanga’s dam levels stood at 73.9% on average this week.