National dam levels are seeing a steady, week-on-week decline, the Department of Water and Sanitation said last week.

The department said this decrease is gradual, with the country’s 214 dams dropping an average 0.3% to 71.1% as of last week Wednesday. This time last year, national storage levels were 52.7%.

While overall water levels are better than last year, with most provinces having sufficient water to live comfortably without implementing extreme measures, water restrictions are still being widely enforced in many provinces. This is to ensure the maximum amount of water can be conserved, should predicted rains not come as expected.

The department has pleaded with citizens to use, reuse and conserve water wisely. It has also requested that citizens refrain from polluting water sources and report leaks to municipal officials.

As of last week Wednesday, provincial dam levels were as follows:

  • The Eastern Cape was down 0.1% to 57%
  • The Free State was also down 0.1% to 83.2%
  • Gauteng was down 0.6% to 89.7%
  • KwaZulu-Natal was down 1.1% to 56.3%
  • Limpopo was down very slightly by 0.06% to 77.7%
  • Mpumalanga was down 0.1% to 87.4%
  • The Northern Cape remained the same at 92.6%
  • The North West dropped 0.1% to 87.4%

As far as river systems go, the Algoa System, serving five dams around the Nelson Mandela Bay, decreased by 0.4% to 34.7%. The system was at 73.8% during the same time last year.

The Amathole System with six dams serving Buffalo City decreased by 0.1% to 65.3%. This time last year it was at 84.4%.

The Bloemfontein System with four dams serving mainly Mangaung dropped by a point to 48.8% compared with 33.9% the same time last year.

The Cape Town Dams System with six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town gained from 24.3% to 24.9%. The system was at 39.6% during the same time last year.

The Crocodile West System with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg dropped by 0.2% to 98.1%. The system was recorded at 95.5% during the same time last year.

The Vaal River System with 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom has decreased by 0.5% to 82.4% compared with 56.2% recorded during the same time last year. The Umgeni Dam System with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Mundus dropped from 62.7% to 62.1%. The system was at 50.6% last year.

The department said most parts of the country are still recovering from the hard hitting drought.