Vaal Dam levels have declined to unprecedented levels in the past two weeks, says the Department of Water and Sanitation in a statement.
“The dam fell from 39.6% last week to 38.8% this week. The dam has hovered under the neutral 50% mark for a number of months now, [and it had been at 61.3%] during the same week last year,” the department said on Thursday, August 27.
The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), which consists of 14 dams, including the Vaal Dam, has seen a drop recently.
“[The IVRS] fell from 61.8% last week to this week’s 60.8%. These present levels are lower compared to the 67.0% the dam reached in the same week last year,” the department said.
Grootdraai Dam has also recorded a drop to 79.4% this week, having been at 79.9% last week.
“Despite the fall, the present levels of the dam remain higher when compared to last year during the same time, when they stood at 62.9%,” the department said.
The levels of Bloemhof Dam are above average this week at 96.5%.
“This is despite the decrease from last week’s levels of 98.2%. During the preceding year at the same time, the dam floated at 96.7%, showing that the dam has been in a healthy state for a number of months up until now,” the department said.
In the Free State, Sterkfontein Dam is stagnant this week, remaining at 93.9% for the second consecutive week.
In the comparative period last year, it was equally strong at 92.2%.
“Mohale Dam in Lesotho is in a severely shrivelled state, as it looks set to continue to remain in a concerning position. Presently, the dam stands at 6.2% following its fall from last week’s 6.7%. In the same week last year, the dam was at 33.1%.
“Moving in the direction of the Mohale Dam is Katse Dam, which is also in Lesotho. This week, the dam took a further knock from a lowly 28.7% last week, to 27.7%. The dam hovers under the 50% mark and has not made any improvement from last year at the same time, when it was at 18.2%,” the department said.
The department called on water users to save water.
“The department believes that water users’ compliance with appeals to not to use water excessively will help to avoid a potential crisis,” the department said.
Water users have also been encouraged to desist from watering gardens or using hosepipes to wash cars and cleaning paving.
“Thus, water users should work together with the department to avoid the risk of water scarcity as South Africa is an arid country,” the department said.