Relief as KZN dam levels rise but Clanwilliam runs dry
KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng dam levels are improving‚ while Western Cape continues to decline‚ the Department of Water and Sanitation says.
"Most Gauteng dams are bursting at seams‚ thanks to the incessant rains that fell over large parts of the province recently‚" the department said in its weekly report.
The average level recorded after the rains stands at 101 percent‚ followed by Free State and Mpumalanga with 92‚2 percent and 81‚7 percent respectively
"However‚ if reports by the South African Weather Services are anything to go by‚ KwaZulu-Natal will soon occupy the top spot after the predicted heavy downpours that are expected in the province for the next two weeks. The current average dam level in KwaZulu-Natal 64‚7 percent."
Early this month‚ the department said the Umgeni Dam system in KZN 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 had increased remarkably from 62‚8% to 70‚3%. This had led eThekwini Municipality to consider lifting water restrictions that were imposed due to the drought.
This week‚ the department said‚ the national average dam level is 77‚6 percent‚ an improvement of 2‚3 percent compared to 2017.
However‚ the drought-stricken Western Cape continues to decline week-on-week with the average dam level standing at 17‚6 percent.
Voelsvlei‚ which supplies Cape Town‚ has dropped from 14‚2 percent last week to 14‚1. Berg River‚ which also supplies the Mother City‚ dropped its level by 2 percent from 43‚4 percent to 41‚1 percent.
"Clanwilliam Dam on the West Coast has dried up completely and the local municipality has resorted to water tankering to supply local residents‚" the department said.
Drought in the Western Cape Province, South Africa: Clanwilliam Dam (today) that feeds the Olifants River Irrigation Scheme at 6.2% of water capacity. Down from last week's 6.7%, according to https://t.co/J2ywaC1CB4 (26.3.2018). pic.twitter.com/DC48EO7iPi— Jo-Ansie van Wyk (@JoAnsievanWyk) March 27, 2018
"Unless mother nature intervenes in that province‚ affected municipalities are likely to impose tighter water restrictions soon."
Residents in the City of Cape Town are already under severe strain after Level 6B water restrictions were imposed early this year. In an optimistic tone‚ the department commented‚ "However‚ winter rains that are supposed to start at the end of April or first week of May are expected to bring some relief to the citrus province."
Eastern Cape recorded some improvement in some of its dam levels with Macubeni in Cacadu registering 100 percent full. Other dams in the province that recorded full capacity are Sandile in Keiskamma‚ Binfield in Tyume‚ Mabeleni in Mhlahlane‚ Umtata‚ Ntyenetyana‚ Belfort in Mafube and Tsojana.
North West Province dams are steady at an average at 72‚9 percent while Boegoeberg in the Free State recorded a whopping 116‚7 percent‚ followed by Bon Accord with 107‚2 percent and the Vaal (on the Free State side) with 106‚7 percent.