Concern as Vaal Dam levels decline

The Department of Water and Sanitation in a statement on Wednesday has raised concerns at the lowering of dam water levels in the Integrated Vaal River Systems (IVRS) as most of the country approaches the dry winter season

"The Vaal Dam continues to gradually decline week-on-week, raising concerns that it will soon float below the 50% mark as the country earnestly enters into the dry winter season.

"Of particular concern is that in the same week last year, the dam was floating at 72,2% indicating that the dam has over time been shrinking to lower levels. Presently, the dam sits at 50,6% and down from 51,3% last week," the statement said.

"Other dams alongside the Vaal Dam in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) such as the Grootdraai and Sterkfontein Dams, have similarly seen a decline in levels this week.

"The Grootdraai Dam decreased from 89,9% last week to 89,0% this week while during the same period last year it hovered at slightly less but stable levels of 76,7%.

"Recording a minor decrease, the Sterkfontein Dam is this week at 93,4%, slightly less compared with the 93,5% last week. The current levels of the dam are the same as last year at the same time.

"As opposed to other declining dams, the Bloemhof Dam within the same IVRS recorded an upsurge from 99,5% last week to 100,1% this week. This dam has remained stable for months as shown by its levels of 102,9% during the same week last year.

"The Katse and Mohale Dams in Lesotho continue to be a concern as they continue to dwindle week-on-week. The Mohale Dam has worsened this week, falling from 15,3% last week to 14,4% this week. During a similar period in the preceding year, the dam hovered at a much better but still low 33,2%

"Floating at less than 40% for over a year now, the Katse Dam is presently at 37,6% and lower than last week's 38,0%. Last year at the same time it was at 34,9%.

"The decrease in critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System has seen a corresponding but slight decline in its levels as it dropped from 67,9% last week to 67,7% this week. The system hovered lower at 74,4% at the same week last year," the statement said.

The department of water and sanitation has called on water users in Gauteng and other provinces using the IVRS to use water with care and to be particularly cognisant that the Vaal Dam and the others are responsible for supplying water to households and businesses in the country's economic hub.

"The department further wishes to alert water users that to ward off the deadly novel coronavirus, water is vitally important and therefore saving as much water as possible is at the heart of saving lives."

#SADamLevels| Good morning Mzansi. 🇿🇦🇿🇦

Here's how the country's dam levels look like for this week.

We will also share the capacity levels for some of the country's major dams.

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— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) May 20, 2020