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The Department of Water and Sanitation says national water storage has shown a slight improvement this week in a number of the country’s dams compared to last week.

This week, national water storage has improved by 2.3% from 55.6% last week to 57.9% this week, a sign that dam levels are increasing at a slow pace.

“This phenomenon further demonstrates that most parts of the country are still water distressed and the meagre rains we have experienced recently in some parts have not made any significant impact for us to say we are out of the woods,” the department said.

Provincial dam levels have shown some improvements, with more than half showing an increase compared to last week.

In the Eastern Cape, dam levels increased from 56.9% to 58.2%. Free State increased from 57.2% to 60.8%. KwaZulu-Natal showed a slight increase from 47.1% to 47.9%, while Limpopo increased from 66.1% to 66.9%

Gauteng dam levels had a slight decrease from 86.7% to 86.3%. Northern Cape increased from 93.6% to 95% and a noticeable increase was in North West from 73.8% to 78.1%.

Mpumalanga also showed a slight decrease from 67.8% to 67.1%, as well as Western Cape, which remained critically low, decreasing from 36.2% last week to 34.9% this week.

The department said the Western Cape system with six dams serving the City of Cape Town was at 36, 9% last week but dipped to 35.7% this week. The system was at 43% around this time last year.

The Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay was 52.2% last week. It has now increased to 53% this week. The system was recorded at 89.6% last year during the same period.

The Amatole System with six dams serving Buffalo City was 72.4% last week and it has remained at the same level this week. The reservoir was measured at 92% last year around the same period.

The Umgeni System with five dams serving eThekwini and Msunduzi was at 48.7% last week and this week the dam levels have increased to 49.8%.  The system was at 58.7% during the same period last year.

There has been a noticeable increase in the Bloemfontein System with four dams serving Mangaung, which increased from 37.9% last week to 41.6% this week.

The Polokwane System decreased from 52.2% last week to 51.6% this week. Last year it was at 50.9%.

The Integrated Vaal River Systems consisting of 14 dams, which mainly serve Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom has increased from 65.5% last week to 67.5% this week. At the same period last year, the system was at 59%.

The department encouraged water users to continue using water responsibly and to adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities.