As the levels of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) continue to decline with the advent of the winter season and rainfalls becoming scarcer in Gauteng, the Department of Water and Sanitation has called on water consumers to drastically reduce their consumption for the system to be stabilised.

The system has been hovering just above the 50% mark for an extended period before it started to pick up to the 70% mark in the last couple of weeks.

This raised concerns for water supply amongst businesses and the public.

This week, the system has again fallen, recording a decline from 73.9% last week to 73.6% this week.

During the preceding year at the same time, the system stood at 88.0%.

The Vaal Dam has also taken a knock this week, declining to 71.0%. This week’s levels of the Vaal Dam signify a significant drop from the levels of last year at the same time when the dam was at a remarkable 102.2%.

Despite floating at acceptable levels this week, the Grootdraai Dam has also experienced a decline, moving from 75.1% last week to 73.8% this week. Compared to last year at the same period when the dam floated commandingly at 94.6%, this week’s levels reflect a decline.

The Sterkfontein Dam, the reserve dam for the Integrated Vaal River System, saw a negligible setback this week when it fell slightly from 93.3% last week to 93.2% this week. The present levels of the dam show consistency as it stood at 96.0% last year at the same period.

Recording no change in its levels this week, the Bloemhof Dam has not moved from the 102.3% it was at last week. Floating at 102.9% last year during the same period, the current levels of the dam indicate a slight decrease.

At the same time, both the Katse and Mohale dams continue to flounder week-on-week. The Katse Dam has seen a decrease from 33.4% to 32.5% this week while at the same time last year it was at a satisfactory 63.5%.

By contrast to the Katse Dam, the Mohale Dam is presently at 33.4% it had recorded last week. At the same time last year the dam was lower than this week at 32.3%

In light of Gauteng being one of the provinces that is not expected to experience rainfall in winter, the Department of Water and Sanitation is pinning hopes of respite of the dam levels on the communities’ cooperation to conserve as much water as possible until the next summer rainfall period.

All this decline across the catchments has resulted in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), critical for sustainable water supply for socio-economic activity in Gauteng, showing a slight overall decrease from 86% a week ago, to 85,7% this week. The 85,7% is a considerable decline when compared to this period a year ago when the IVRS was at 97,6%

This definitely strengthens the need for continued water conservation and wise water use in the province.