Vaal Dam and other IVRS dams’ levels severely affected
The Vaal Dam, which is one of the critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), has been severely affected with levels decreasing to 51.5% this week.
Gauteng Province is presently experiencing high temperatures and this situation is compounded by the slight rainfalls which are scarce and far in between. Another contributory factor to the decline of the Vaal Dam is attributed to the shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water tunnel for a two months period for maintenance between 01 October and 30 November 2019.
The effect of the shutdown is that no water transfers to the IVRS will take place over this period as the tunnel was drained for the work to take place.
The Vaal Dam has declined from 53.0% last week, indicating that the dam has been decreasing from last year at the same period when it stood safely at 86.6%.
Another dam that has consistently been declining is the Grootdraai Dam. Last year during the corresponding week, the dam was 80.3% full but has since declined to 56.5% this week. The present levels of the dam are a drop from last week’s 57.6%.
One of the dams that still remain resilient over the past few months is the Sterkfontein Dam. Despite recording a slight decline from last week, the dam is presently steady at 91.6%, down from 91.7% last week.
Equally strong this week, the Bloemhof Dam is in a healthy state at 84.2%. However, the current levels of the dam are a drop compared to last week’s 86.9%. During the same week last year, the dam stood at 88.9%.
The Katse Dam further declined this week, moving from 13.7% last week to 13.6% this week. The dam has been dropping since the corresponding week last year as it then hovered just below the 50% mark at 49.6%.
Due to the combined effect of the shutdown due to maintenance work and lack of rainfalls, the Gauteng Department of Water and Sanitation appeals to water users to use water sparingly and to cooperate with local municipalities where water restrictions are in place in a bid to ensure uninterrupted was supply to consumers.
Source: Government of South Africa