The Department of Water and Sanitation is urging Gauteng residents to use water sparingly due to instability in the levels of the dams that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System.
This comes as the country moves towards the dry winter season. “Unlike the Western Cape, which is a winter rainfall area, chances of rainfall in Gauteng are few and far in between during the winter season,” the department explains.
According to the department’s weekly dam level report this week the system has seen a further decline, moving from 68.8% last week to 68.4%. During the comparative period last year, the system hovered at 76.4%.
Low levels all around
“After having risen last week, the Vaal Dam, which is one of the key dams in the system, fell from 71.7% last week to 70.8%. During the corresponding week last year the dam was at 83.3%.”
The Vaal Dam supplies much-needed water to households and also fosters the economic sustainability of Gauteng and the entire continent through its supply of water to the petro-chemical giant Sasol and the electricity generator Eskom.
Similarly the Bloemhof Dam also fell this week, shrinking from 59.3% last week to 58.2%. Last year in the same period the dam was at 75.4%, indicating that the dam is on a decline week-on-week.
The Katse and Mohale dams are also low hovering below the 50% mark with the Katse dam sitting at 20.2%, a few notches lower than its levels last year at the same period when it was at 20.4%
The Mohale dam declined from 37.2% last week to 36.1%. During the same week last year the dam was at 48.0%.
Use water sparingly
“The current state of the dams is contributing negatively to the levels of the entire system and remains a concern,” the department points out.
“Despite being in a stable state presently, the IVRS is decreasing week-on-week and this requires heightened efforts to save water. This is the reason why the Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng is calling on water consumers to use the resource sparingly to ensure the water security of the province,” it concludes.