Thanks To Torrential Rains, South Africa Dam Levels Rise

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South Africa’s dam levels have marginally risen and this is attributed to torrential rainfall in most parts of the country over the last couple of weeks, the Department of Water and Sanitation announced on Thursday.

“This week, the overall storage capacity of the country’s water levels sits at 95,2%, a minimal increase from last week’s 94,9%, and a massive improvement from last year’s 77.3%,” said Sputnik Ratau, spokesperson for the department.

The weekly status of reservoirs indicates a minor improvement in water levels compared to the same period last week and last year respectively.

The bulk of the provinces have recorded expansion in water levels namely; Free State, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, and Northern Cape.​

However, Gauteng, North West, Eastern Cape have slightly declined, whereas Limpopo is stable and unchanged at 87.2%.

“The biggest increase of the week was recorded by Northern Cape, rising from 104.7% to overflow at 118.8%,” said Ratau.

“This was due to a major boost from Boegoeberg and Douglas Storage Weirs.”

One of the major water supply systems which cover several provinces, the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), has dipped marginally from 100.8% to 100.0%.

Meanwhile, Gauteng province dams have declined from 104.5% to 102.1%.

Free State Province is among those that have increased from last week’s 107,2% to 107,7% this week.

Both Gariep and Vanderkloof Dams which are part of the Orange River Water Supply System have recorded gains from 109.2% and 106.0% to 111.5% and 109.8% respectively.

Kwazulu-Natal water levels have also risen from last week’s 83.0% to 84.1%.

One of the province’s largest dams, Albert Falls Dam, which supplies water to the eThekwini Metro and surrounding areas jumped from 86.7% to 95,7%.

Eastern Cape province is among those that have dipped albeit slightly, decreasing from 63.2% to 62.8%. The Algoa Water Supply System has further diminished to a concerning 18.6% from last week’s 19,0%.

Furthermore, Mpumalanga recorded a minor increase with 92.5% from last week and 92.4% this week, however, the province’s Nooitgedacht Dam has dropped from 97.3% to 90,8%.

Kwena Dam which is part of the Crocodile East Water Supply System has gone up to 101.0% from last week’s 96,7%.

This is a vast improvement from when it stood at 29,5% last year during a similar period.

North West Province has decreased a little bit from 75.8% last week and it is at 75.5% this week.

In the Western Cape, there was a slight decline from 78.1% last week and 76.0% this week.

“Although the country’s water levels are in a healthy state due to widespread downpours experienced recently, the Department of Water and Sanitation persists in encouraging the public to use water with caution and conserve the available water since South Africa is a water-scarce country,” said Ratau.​