There has been a slight increase in South Africa’s dam levels after light rains were experienced across the country this week.
According to the report released by the Department of Water and Sanitation on Tuesday, dam levels increased from 59.5% to 60%. In the same period last year, South Africa’s dam levels averaged 57.7%.
“The weekly report indicates that the average dam levels are up from 58.8% last week to 59.6%. In the Western Cape, the average level keeps dropping alarmingly by 1% week-on-week. Recently it dropped from 24.5% to 23.7%,” the department said.
The Theewaterskloof Dam, which is the main feeder to Cape Town metropolis decreased slightly from 13.1% to 12.1%; Voëlsvlei Dam is at 17.7%, down from 18.3%, and Clanwilliam Dam has dropped to 14.7% from 16.6%.
Vaal Dam levels increased
Thanks to the heavy downpours that fell over large parts of Gauteng last weekend, the Vaal Dam levels has this week increased to 81.5%. The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), whose 14 dams served Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom, has increased by 1.2% from 72.8% to 7%. In the same period last year, the system stood at 67.6%.
Low rainfall in Eastern Cape
In the Eastern Cape, the catchment areas have experienced very low rainfall figures, with the Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay declined from 26% to 25.6%. Last year, the system recorded at 51.3%.
The Amathole System, with six dams serving Buffalo City decreased from 78% to 77.2%.
The department warned that the Nelson Mandela Metro is under water restrictions, and urged citizens to cut down on water usage.
There are no changes at Kouga, Impofu and Groendal, where dam levels are at 10.1%, 42.0% and 51%. Loerie is down from 84.3% to 83.9%.
In the Free State, the Bloemfontein System, with four dams serving mainly Mangaung increased by 0.9%, from 32.7% to 33.6%. Koppies dam level increased to 73.1%, with Gariep also increasing from 53.8% percent to 55.7%.
North West dam levels increased from 67.4% to 67.6%, while the Crocodile West System which has six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg, increased slightly from 82.3% to 83.7%.
The Umgeni Dam system in KwaZulu-Natal, which has five dams serving eThekwini and uMsunduzi, increased from 61.5% to 62.5%. The system was at 49.3% in the same period last year.
Midmar Dam up to 95 percent
While Midmar Dam levels increased from 92.7% to 95.5%; the dam level in Hazelmere has decreased from 60.7% to 60.3%, with Inanda Dam also experiencing a decrease from 63.0% to 62.5%.
In Northern Cape, the average dam levels are at 76.1%, a 1% decrease from last week. The Spitskop Dam is at 53.7%, an increase from last week’s 53.4%.
In the Limpopo Province, Mokolo is at 78.6%, a decrease from last week’s 79.1%; Nandoni is down from 94.5% to 94.2%, as well as De Hoop, which is down from 98.3% to 97.8%.
Dam levels in Mpumalanga decreased from 76.9% last week to 76.8% this week.
Mpumalanga has dams such as the Blyderivierpoort, which is at 63.6%, Loskop at 98.3% and Ohrigstad at 36.4% percent.
The provincial government has urged residents to use water sparingly.
Day Zero pushed back to June
Meanwhile, the department said that Capetonians can breathe a sigh of relief as latest reports state that the daunting Day Zero in the mother city has been pushed back to June.
“Officials attributed the delay to the fact that water usage by the agricultural sector has declined and the fact that residents have significantly lowered their water consumption,” the department said.