The Department of Water and Sanitation is keeping a close eye on the dam levels in the Northern Cape as the province battles a debilitating drought.

The Northern Cape government has warned that if rain does not falls soon it will be forced to declare several districts disaster areas.

In statement released this week the Department noted that the Karee Dam, which serves the town of Calvinia is currently at a water level of 34.5%, an improvement from last year’s 0%. According to the department the area has been receiving low rainfall since 2008 with little groundwater recharge.

“It should be noted that only the Karee Dam is a storage dam within the Northern Cape. The other dams are used as transient storages and have much smaller capacities than the larger storage dams in other provinces which is the reason why the levels vary from week to week. The storage dams are fed from other upstream dams in the Vaal and Orange rivers,” the department explained.

Water restrictions

Meanwhile residents of the Sol Plaatjie municipality in Kimberley are also facing a water crisis that appears to be getting worse with government imposing level five water restrictions on the town. The municipality has also been battling to keep its Newtown reservoir full since November 2018.

Dam levels

The Full Supply Capacity in the Northern Cape is at 147.3% and the water in storage is at 101.3%.

The Vaal River is at 76.8% and the Orange River at 68%. The dam level at Spitskop on the Harts River is Up to 49.1% from last week’s 48.5%. Vaalharts storage weir is at 81.6%; Douglas storage weir at 55.8% from last weeks’76.2%, Boegoeberg is up from last weeks’ 93.9% to 107.3%.

Use water sparingly

“Residents of the Northern Cape are urged to continue using water sparingly. The department is closely monitoring groundwater levels through its groundwater monitoring programme. Surface water allocations and releases are controlled by the department as planned,” the department concluded.