Vaal Dam drops to critical levels, restrictions not on the cards
The Vaal Dam has edged deeper into a critical position after it declined to even lower levels this week but restrictions will not be imposed to curtail water supply to consumers.
Whereas the levels of the dam were at 55.2% during the same week last year, the dam is presently hovering at 33.6% this week. This indicates a protracted period of decline over the months. Last week the dam stood at 34.8%.
The Grootdraai Dam also inched down this week, dropping from 76.9% last week to 76.4% this week. Despite the fall, the dam remains fairly healthy and higher compared with 58.7% during the same week in the preceding year.
Entering the second successive week at 94.0%, the Sterkfontein Dam that is a reserve in the Free State, stands firm and may come in handy to replenish the Vaal Dam should its state turn out for the worse. During the same time last year, it stood at slightly lower but strong at 91.7%.
Recording a slight decline this week, the Bloemhof Dam fell from 93.1% last week to 91.0% presently. It was comparatively lesser at 90.1% last year at the same time.
Located in the neighbouring Lesotho are the Mohale and Katse dams, which continue to find themselves in dire straits as they persist to fall rapidly week-on-week.
Keeping up the free fall that extended over significant number of months, the Mohale Dam has this week plummeted to hover at a lowly 4.3%, and down from last week’s 4.7%. However, the present levels are an improvement from the 14.1% it recorded at the same time last year.
An equally depressed Katse Dam similarly decreased from a poor 24.8% last week to 24.0% this week. The current levels of the dam pale in comparison to the 32.9% at which the dam stood in the comparative period last year.
The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) is still holding firmer this week despite its fall from 58.4% last week to 57.6% this week. The IVRS, which consist of 14 dams, has not been spared from the impact of the dry-winter season as it slowly declined from a 63.5% last year in the same week.
The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng wishes to reiterate that imposing of water restrictions is not on the cards. This is because the IVRS remains sufficiently stable to sustain the deteriorating Vaal Dam.
Gauteng water consumers are therefore called upon to use water as prudently as possible and not to panic as this might lead to excessive use of water in anticipation of restrictions being imposed.
The Department further wishes to assure consumers that the Vaal Dam will never hit rock button because other dams within the system will be used to replenish should a need to do so arise.
Source: Government of South Africa