South Africa: Water and Sanitation On Increase in Vaal Dam Levels

Rise in Vaal Dam overtakes last year’s levels, impacts positively on the IVRS

The Vaal Dam continues to inspire optimism for a continuous water supply this week as it rose past last year’s levels during the same period, increasing from 65.3% last week to 74.5% this week.

This week’s increase in the levels of the Vaal Dam show a substantial jump from when the dam hovered at 55.5% during the same week last year.

The Vaal Dam is one of the 14 dams that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS). On the strength of major dams being replenished to decent levels, the system (IVRS) experienced a positive knock-on effect and rose from 73.8% last week to 76.6% this week. Last year at the same time, the system was at 64.0%.

On the upward, the Grootdraai Dam, which broke the 100.0% mark, increased further this week. It edged up from last week’s 101.1% to 101.6% this week. However, the present levels of the dam are comparatively lower to the 102.8% the dam recorded at the same time in the previous year.

Similarly, the Bloemhof Dam moved to an even stronger position this week as it increased to a remarkable 108.0% this week from an equally strong 107.4% last year. This is by no means a marginal improvement compared to last year when the dam was 79.3% full.

In contrast, the Sterkfontein Dam recorded a negligible decrease this week, falling from last week’s 96.4% to 96.2% presently. Despite the drop, the current levels of the dam are higher compared to the 91.5% during the same period last year.

Having been floating below the neutral 50% mark at this time last year when it stood at a low of 25.3%, the Lesotho’s Katse Dam has gradually replenished to a decent 52.0% last week and persisted to see more increases to reach 54.6% this week. The steady rise in the levels of the dam is a welcome relief as it remained worryingly in a shrunken state for a number of months.

Despite having improved from a depressed state of 11.8% in the comparative period last year, another Lesotho dam – the Mohale – continues to sit at dangerously strained levels of 18.4% for the second consecutive week.

The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng appeals to water consumers to guard against the mistaken belief that there is no need to conserve water. As a water-stress country, consumers are urged to always strive to intensify their water saving efforts.

Over and above attending to burst pipe and leaking taps, the Department encourages water users to install low showerheads and aerators to all taps in the home. This is profoundly important given the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus and the need for residents to wash their hands regularly with water and soap.


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