The recent rain is bringing some relief to easing the water shortage as Dam levels around the country start to rise. Here’s a current update on water levels.
Dams around South Africa have risen over the past few weeks but authorities have said this amount still remains below average and we need to continue our efforts at saving water.
The Department of Water and Sanitation says more rural areas have been affected by the drought than urban centres with eight provinces being declared drought disaster zones.
“We have been monitoring levels in 211 dams across the country the situation has been dire, our water levels have decreased significantly,” said spokesperson Mlimandela Ndamase in an interview with eNCA on Monday.
KwaZulu-Natal and North West province have been more severely affected by the drought than Gauteng but because of the importance of Gauteng in the country’s economy the drought gets escalated.
“Gauteng’s location, the fact that 35 percent of our population is here and 45 percent of our economy is here, whenever a problem strikes this particular region we then begin to elevate it into a being a crisis,” he said.
In other words, the risk of the possibility of running out of water is much higher.
In recent weeks, the level of the Vaal Dam dropped to an alarming low of about 23%, prompting authorities to replenish the dam, which supplies water mainly to Gauteng.
The water that was released from Sterkfontein Dam is expected to increase levels by 7% but will only reach the Vaal Dam within the next couple of days.
Added to that, last week’s torrential rains, which swept through most of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, had almost no effect on the Vaal’s depleting levels, as the the dam itself and the catchment areas which flow into it, didn’t receive as much rain.
However, according to weather services, the recent rainfall over the weekend and earlier this week has improved the Vaal Dam levels, bringing the total rainfall in the catchment area to over 31.5mm by yesterday.
The levels have been slowly increasing.
On Saturday, the dam had risen to 27.6% and rain on Sunday helped bring levels up to 29.1%.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Vaal Dam had risen to a further 32,1% with more promising rainfall expected over the next week.
Joburg Water however reminded residents that we’re are not out of the woods yet and water restrictions are still in place and must be adhered to.
Rand Water has started reducing water supply to various municipalities in an effort to stem water usage and avoid implementing Level 3 water restrictions.
Residents are prohibited from using hosepipes to wash their cars or paving and are only allowed to water their gardens between 6pm and 6am