DWS’s call for ease on excessive water use slowly taking root
The call for water consumers to cut back on water use is slowly bearing fruits as the Vaal Dam, which is part of the 14 dams that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), slightly drops this week.
Relentlessly soaring temperatures plus lack of rainfalls are the two main factors that have caused dwindling dam levels across the country, leading to calls by the Department of Water and Sanitation for water users to use water sparingly.
The IVRS consists of 14 dams which contribute immensely to the water supply of Gauteng. The petro-chemical giant, Sasol, and the electricity powerhouse Eskom, are some of the economic nerve-centres in the province that depend on the IVRS for their water supply.
This week the IVRS fell from last week’s 59.6.6% to 58.8% this week. The current levels of the IVRS are slightly lower when compared to the same period last year when it stood at 75.5%.
The status of the dams’ levels released by the Department of Water and Sanitation this week show that the Vaal Dam has decreased further from 47.8% last week to 46.2% this week. The current levels of the dam are a far cry from the levels of 82.9% which the dam recorded last year in the same week.
Floating under stress this week, the Grootdraai Dam has decreased to 52.9% having hovered at 53.7% last week - considerably lower than the dam levels of 71.1% in the same week last year.
The Sterkfontein dam has seen only a trivial drop this week at 91.3%, compared with last week’s 93.4% and the 94.3% recorded for the same period in the preceding year.
The Bloemhof Dam is currently floating at lower levels compared to last week. The dam is down from 78.4% last week to 76.3% this week. Despite being firm, the dam remains lower than the 82.7% reported during the comparative period last year.
Affected by the Lesotho Water Highlands tunnel maintenance, which started this year in November and set to finish at the end of November this year, the Katse Dam is presently standing 13.4% it recorded last week. During the same week last year, the dam was at 47.7%
Facing a similar situation as the Katse Dam, the Mohale Dam is now at 32.5%, slightly down from 32.6% last week. In the preceding year at the same week, the dam stood at lowly 18.0%.
Despite the IVRS not being in a critical state at the moment and the other dams in the system in a stable condition, the Department of Water and Sanitation impresses on water consumers to heighten their water saving efforts. In this regards, the department encourages water users to conform to restrictions that have be placed in their municipalities to guarantee uninterrupted water supply.
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