As the country fights against the Coronavirus pandemic and the message of washing hands takes centre stage, South Africa’s dam levels continue to take a dip.
The Vaal Dam has plummeted below the neutral 50% mark as it persists to decline week-on-week for the first time in 12 months.
According to the Water and Sanitation Department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, the dam levels have dropped to 49.8%, compared to 71.5% recorded in the same week last year.
“Last week the dam was sitting at 50.6%,” he added.
Meanwhile, the other dams that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System with the Vaal Dam, have also taken a knock.
“One such dam is the Grootdraai, which fell from 89.0% last week to 87.8% this week. The present levels of the dam are reduced compared to 75.5% it was last year at the same time.”
Katse and Mohale dams are no different as they continue to drop weekly.
“The Mohale Dam deteriorated this week, moving from last week’s 14.4% to 13.6% this week. In the preceding year at the same week, the dam was at 33.3%, indicating it has consistently remained in an unfavourable position for a number of months now.”
Katse Dam fell from 37.6% last week to 37.2% this week.
“Both these levels are higher compared with the levels of 33.8% the dam saw during the same week in the preceding year,” he added.
However, the Sterkfontein Dam, which is a reserve that is located in the Free State, is on an upward trajectory this week.
“It notched up from 93.4% last week to 93.6% this week compared with the 93.3% it recorded last year at the same time, the current levels are slightly higher.”
Ratau said the Bloemhof Dam surged up from 100.1% last week to 100.6% this week.
“However, the current levels are lower when compared with 103.7% in the same period last year.”
He said while the Integrated Vaal River System has slightly declined this week, moving from 67.6% last week to this week’s 67.3%, the system remains resilient up until now.
The system was sitting at 74.1% in the same week last year.
“Given the weekly drop in the levels of the Vaal Dam and other dams in the system, the Department of Water and Sanitation urges water users to reduce their consumption to a bare minimum.
“The department wishes to remind water users that the country is moving towards the dry winter season which will see less rainfall. Therefore, water users should be cautious in a manner in which they consume water and save the current resource.”