The Vaal Dam could soon sit below 50% as water levels continue to gradually decline on a weekly basis.The Department of Water and Sanitation is particularly concerned about the shrinking water levels, as the country enters the dry season. Department of Water and Sanitation said in a statement on Wednesday that it was concerned because in the same week last year, the Vaal Dam was at 72.2%. Presently, it sits at 50.6% and is down from 51.3% last week. Other dams alongside the Vaal Dam in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) including the Grootdraai and Sterkfontein have similarly seen a decline in levels this week. The Grootdraai Dam level decreased from 89.9% last week to 89.0% this week, while during the same period last year it hovered at slightly less, but stable levels of 76.7%.
The Sterkfontein Dam recorded a minor decrease from last week’s 93.5% to 93.4%.As opposed to other declining dams, the Bloemhof Dam within the same IVRS recorded an upsurge from 99.5% last week to 100.1% this week. This dam has remained stable for months as shown by its levels of 102.9% during the same week last year. The Katse and Mohale Dams in Lesotho continue to be a concern as they continue to dwindle week-on-week. The Mohale Dam has worsened this week, falling from 15.3% last week to 14.4% this week. During a similar period in the preceding year, the dam hovered at a much
better but still low 33.2%. Floating at less than 40% for over a year now, the Katse Dam is presently at 37.6% and lower than last week’s 38.0%. Last year at the same time it was at 34.9%. The decrease in critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System has seen a corresponding but slight decline in its levels as it dropped from 67.9% last week to 67.7% this week. The system hovered lower at 74.4% at the same week last year. The Department urges water users in Gauteng and other provinces utilising the System to use water with care and to be “particularly cognisant that the Vaal Dam and the others within the IVRS is responsible for supplying water to households and businesses in the driving seat of the South African economy”.