The country’s water situation stable as we approach the festive season

As the country enters the festive season, the water situation appears to be fairly stable, with dam levels recording 62,2% this week. According to a weekly report on dam levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation, there are 19 929,9 cubic metres of water stored in reservoirs to address the water needs during the celebratory period.

Eastern Cape, which has been affected by severe drought conditions, is making a steady recovery, with its dam levels approaching 50%, thanks to the consistent rains that pounded large parts of the province in the past month. However, Gauteng took a slight knock, with its dams dropping from 92,2% to 91,7% in the last seven days.

Although Free State has dropped its levels to 71,6%, it continues to account for the highest dam levels in the country. The province is sustained by three of the biggest dams in the country – Gariep, Vanderkloof and Sterkfontein – whose levels registered a two percent apiece in the past week.

Northern Cape, which has the fewest dams in the country, continues to be among the top three provinces that have sufficient water after recording 87,7% dam level this week. Mpumalanga and North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo are among the provinces whose dam levels recorded a slight increase each to give hope their water users for a bumper season. The South African Weather Services has predicted more rainfall for the Highveld region of Mpumalanga in the next 24 hours.

KwaZulu-Natal’s dams rose marginally from 53,2% to 53,6% this week, with the coastal belt towns accounting for a large chunk of the improvement. Although the drought-stricken regions of Umkhanyakude and Zululand received heavy rains last week, more downpours are needed to alleviate the situation.

With the exception of Mopani and Waterberg districts, Limpopo’s dams remained fairly stable at 5,1%. Albasini and Nandoni in Vhembe were recorded at 68,7% and 93,4% each. However, Mopani’s big three dams, Tzaneen, Middel-Letaba and Modjadji are below 10%. The situation is more dire in Middel-Letaba which supplies Giyani town with a 0,9%.

The end of the hydrological cycle in Western Cape is beginning to have a cumulative effect on the province’s dam levels. They dropped by one percent from 78,6% to 77,2% this week. However, the province’s current levels reflect a 17% improvement compared to the same period in 2019.

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