Drop in levels of critical dams in the IVRS put strain on the system
A decrease in some of the major dams in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), including the critically important Vaal Dam, have put a strain on the system (IVRS) as it continues to fall week-on-week.
According to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s weekly reservoir status report, the IVRS has again dropped this week. Last week, the levels of the system stood at 56.0% but have this week declined to 55.4%. In the comparative week last year, the system stood reasonably at 60.9%.
For its part, the Vaal Dam has again recorded a decline as it dropped from 31.2% last week to just 30.2% this week. In comparative terms, the dam is far below the levels of last year when it hovered slightly above the neutral 50% at 50.2%.
The Gootdraai Dam, which had stayed unmoved for the past two second consecutive weeks, has seen a drop this week. It declined from 76.1% last week to 75.9% last week. During the same period last week, the dam stood at 55.4% but lower compared to the present levels of the dam.
Equally, the firm Bloemfoh Dam recorded a drop this week as it slightly fell from 87.1% last week to 86.2% presently. Last year’s levels of 82.8% shows that the dam has remained strong over the past few months.
Contrary to other dams in the system, Sterkfontein Dam increased slightly this week to 94.3% from an equally strong 94.2%. In the preceding year, the dam floated at a strong 91.6%.
In Lesotho, the situation with both the Mohale and Katse dam is getting desperate as the dams continue to worsen with each passing week.
The Mohale Dam this week sits at 2.9%, down from 3.3% while during the same period last year it was higher but below the neutral 50% mark at 32.7%
Despite being somewhat better than the Mohale Dam, the Katse Dam is still cause for concern. It presently stands at 21.7%, which is less to last week’s 21.7%. This is indicative that the dam has been dipping for several months and showing no signs of improving.
As the country is moving firmly into the summer season, which offers hope for much- needed downpours, the Department of Water and Sanitation calls on water users to remain vigilant when using water and to properly close taps to avoid losses.
The Department also urges water consumers, especially in Gauteng, to heed instructions issued by their local municipalities on ways to conserve water given the present heatwave that may require them to keep hydrated.
During the heat spells, water in the dams evaporates quickly and this could mean that a significant amount of water is lost and thus preserving every drop when consumers use the limited resource is vitally important.
Source: Government of South Africa