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Some dams start to recover after drought

30 August 2017 - 18:30 By Penwell Dlamini
Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
Image: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

Over the past year South Africa has endured one of its worst droughts. Some dams across the country are now starting to show signs of improvement‚ while others have experienced a decline‚ the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.

In KwaZulu-Natal‚ Pietermaritzburg‚ Durban‚ Northern KwaZulu-Natal and the South Coast water restrictions remain in place to save the little water that is available.

“The Umgeni System which comprises of the Albert Falls‚ Nagle and Inanda dams has experienced a decline in water levels. The Inanda dam is down at 61% from 61% last week.

“Last year at this time it was at 65.3%. Albert Falls dam is at 27.4% from 27.9% last week. Nagle dam is at 67.2 % from 66.5% last week. Last year at the same time it was at 66.7%. Hazelmere dam has decreased to 104.5% from 106.4% last week .The entire KwaZulu-Natal province is at 51.9%‚ a decrease from 52.4% last week .Last year this time the province was at 43.9%‚” the department said.

Umgeni Water said it would ask the Umgeni System Joint Operations Committee‚ dealing with the water crisis to apply to national government for the extension of the existing water restrictions of 15% by a further 12 months.

“This application has been made to ensure that‚ in the event of less-than-average rainfall occurring from September 2017 to February 2018‚ some water will be available to meet the needs of consumers in uMgungundlovu‚ Pietermaritzburg and Durban‚” the department said.

In the Western Cape‚ dam levels are at 32.8% up from 31% last week.

The City of Cape Town is currently considering Level 5 water restrictions.

The Theewaterskloof dam is currently up at 25.9% from 24.8%. Leeuw-Gamka dam is at 12.2% down from 13.8% .Last year this time it was at 29.4%. Clanwilliam dam has increased from 32.6% to 36.1%.

In the Eastern Cape dam levels have increased from 56.6 to 56.8%.

In the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro the municipality is continuing with water restrictions.

Kouga dam is at 14.7%‚ a slight increase from 14.6% last week. Loerie dam is at 74.4% a decrease of 2.4% from 76.8% last week . Umtata dam is at 96.2% from 97% last week. Nahoon is at 60.4% from 59.3% last week.

In Gauteng‚ the Vaal dam is at 89.2%‚ a slight decrease from 90.5% the week before. The dam levels are still relatively high compared to 33.4% the same time last year during the drought.

Dam levels in the Free State decreased slightly from 79.3% to 78.6%. The same time last year it was at 55.3%.

The North West province was at 84.5% last week and is now down to 83.8%. The same time last year it was at 64.2%.

The North West boasts dams such as Ngotwane at 84.4%‚ Hartebeespoort at 99.9% and Madikwe at 83.9%.

Northern Cape provincial dams are at 92.5% this week‚ an increase of 1.7% from 90.8% last week. Spitskop dam in the Northern Cape is at 89.9% down from 90.8 last week.

In Limpopo‚ the Mokolo dam stands at 73.4% down from 96.2% last week while Nandoni dam is 56.2% and De Hoop is at 85.5%.

The Mpumalanga province dam levels are at 74.5% a decrease from 75.2% last week. Mpumalanga has dams such as the Blyderivierpoort dam at 96.8%‚ Loskop dam at 97.5% and Ohrigstad at 75.6%.