We're battling a pandemic, there are food shortages, anticipated load shedding and now the dam levels in South Africa are beginning to take a nosedive. 2020 has been a challenging year thus far, to say the least, but we'll weather the storm.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), on Wednesday 3 June, unfortunately, announced that the dam levels in South Africa are on a weekly decline.
LATEST SA DAM LEVELS AS OF WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE
The report from DWS shows that the national water storage has once again declined this week, decreasing to 70.1% from 70.3% last week.
"This is a sizable decline compared to the same period last year when the country's water average was at 72%," said the department.
"The decline in the country's water levels should make us rethink our day to day water consumption patterns, inculcate behavioural change and value water more. There is a strong indication that the strain on our water resources is a country-wide phenomenon as shown in this week's dam levels report," it added.
Eastern Cape provincial water storage is declining weekly, a major concern for a province that has been faced with acute water challenges for a while. This week, the dam levels in the province are at 55.0%, a decline from 55.6% last week. This is a far cry compared to 60.4% during the same period last year.
LIMPOPO AND GAUTENG DAM LEVELS
Limpopo is at 72.8% this week from 73.1% last week. In Gauteng, the provincial water storage is at a healthy 98.2%, however, the Integrated Vaal River System with 14 dams continues to decline.
THE FREE STATE AND KWAZULU-NATAL
The Free State is at 83.4% this week, down from 83.8% last week. During this period last year, the province was at 88.2% in dam levels. Water levels in KwaZulu-Natal have declined to 62.2% this week from 62.6% last week.
MPUMALANGA AND THE NORTHERN CAPE
Mpumalanga has declined to 74.4% this week from 74.8% last week.
According to the DWS, the Northern Cape is the only province that has seen a massive increase in water levels, from 85.6% last week, it jumped to 96.7% this week. The Orange Water Supply System, with two dams, declined slightly to 92.7% this week from 92.9% last week.
NORTH WEST DAM LEVELS
Dam levels in the North West declined to 70.4% this week from 70.9% last week. The Crocodile Water Supply System with seven dams is stable but declined to 99.1% this week from 99.6% last week.
The Western Cape provincial storage saw a slight increase to 37.0% this week compared to 35.3% last week. The Western Cape Water Supply System with six dams is at 54.9% this week from 52.7% last week. This is likely to increase as Western Cape rains come in winter.