Easter rains fill up dams‚ except in the Cape
Several dams across South Africa have overflowed over the past two weeks‚ thanks to a significant improvement in rainfall‚ the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.
"The rain was soft but intense‚ enough to soak the soil and replenish groundwater for basic use‚" the department said in a statement.
Improvements in the past two weeks have been noticed in most provinces‚ particularly Gauteng‚ Mpumalanga‚ Free State‚ North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
The report showed that national average dam levels have increased significantly from 70‚5% last week to 75‚2% this week.
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In Gauteng the Vaal Dam level increased from 94‚7% to 103‚5% last week. The Integrated Vaal River System‚ consisting of 14 dams (including the Vaal) that serve Gauteng‚ Sasol and Eskom‚ increased from 83‚5% to 87‚6%. The system was at 86‚8% during the same time last year.
However‚ the Western Cape Water Supply System’s six dams that serve mainly the City of Cape Town decreased from 18‚3% to 17‚7%‚ the department said. The system was at 24‚4% at the same time last year.
"Theewaterskloof Dam continues on a week-on-week downward slide from 10‚4% to 10‚3%. Last year at the same time‚ the dam was at 21‚1%. Clanwilliam is the only dam that registered some improvement from 6‚2% to 6‚4%‚ while Voëlvlei remains stagnant at 14‚5%. The City of Cape Town‚ unlike most parts of the country‚ experienced insignificant rains last week."
In the Eastern Cape‚ the Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay‚ decreased marginally from 24‚7% to 24‚5%. Last year the system was recorded at 44‚1%. Kouga Dam remained static at 10‚8% while Loerie Dam decreased from 100‚3% to 98‚0% at the end of last week. Groendal Dam stands at 50‚7%‚ while Impofu took a slight knock from 38‚5% to 38‚2%.
On a better note‚ the Amathole System with six dams serving Buffalo City increased slightly from 90‚4% to 90‚7%. Last year this time‚ the department said‚ it was at 73‚5%. Bridle Drift decreased from 81‚8% to 81‚6%; Nahoon decreased from 97‚9% to 96‚9%. Laing is down from 100‚4% to 100‚2%; last year at the same time it was at 99‚7%
The Bloemfontein System with four dams serving mainly Mangaung increased by 7% from 41‚4% to 48‚4%; during the same time last year it was at 49‚2%. Welbedacht is at 72‚7%. Knellpoort increased from 48‚3% to 51‚3%; Rustfontein increased from 26‚4% to 40‚4%; Groothoek Dam experienced the biggest increase and is up from 37‚9% to 53‚5%.
The North West Province has a fair amount of water in its dams to sustain it through the dry season. The Crocodile West increased significantly from 83‚3% to 89‚6% in the period under review. The system was recorded at 97‚1% in the same period last year. Disaneng is down from 63‚2% to 62‚8%. Setumo is at 80‚3% and Potchefstroom is at 100‚8%.
The Umgeni Dam system in KwaZulu-Natal with five dams serving eThekwini and Msunduzi in Pietermaritzburg‚ increased from 70‚5% to 73‚7%. The system was at 62‚0% in the same period last year. Midmar Dam decreased from 101‚1% to 100‚5%‚ while Inanda has increased remarkably from 62‚8% to 70‚3%. This has led eThekwini Municipality to consider lifting water restrictions that have been imposed due to the drought.
The Northern Cape average stands at 82‚2%‚ an increase of 0‚9% from 81‚3% last week. Vaalharts was recorded at 91‚1%‚ a decrease from 94‚6% last week.
In the Limpopo province the dam levels increased from 69‚8% to 74‚2%. Modjadji is at 28‚6%. Nandoni is down from 101‚8% to 101‚0%‚ and De Hoop is at 95‚4%.
In Mpumalanga levels rose by a fraction from 81% to 81‚3%. Last year at the same time the province stood at 78‚2%. Buffelskloof is at 82‚7% and Bronkhorstspruit is bursting at the seams at 103‚8%‚ said the department.