The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) water storage capacity has slightly decreased from 96.7% last week to 95.8% this week.
Consisting of 14 dams, the system is the largest in the country and straddles Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the Free State, and the Northern Cape, with South Africa’s leading industries such Eskom and Sasol being supplied by it.
“The Department continues to urge all water users in Gauteng including, Municipalities, Water User Associations, and Mining industry to use water sparingly”, says Departmental Spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.
The iconic Vaal Dam, which is one of the critical dams within the system, is presently just below the 100% mark at 97.0%. This is slightly down from 97.8% it was at last week. Nevertheless, the dam is considerably at a higher level compared to the 88.0% it recorded in the preceding year at the same time, which was still hefty for this time of the year.
This is a good sign especially in that it implies that abstraction for Rand Water continues to be assured at a comfortable level. This further implies that there is continued security of raw water for the entity, leading to security of supply to the Gauteng Province, its three Metros, District Municipalities, industries and mines; thus the economic hub of the country will continue to operate optimally.
Similarly, the Grootdraai Dam also took a slight knock this week, declining to 95.3% from 96.3% last week. During the same week last year, the dam was even lower at 77.8%.
For this week, the Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State recorded a decline to 99.6%, while last week it stood at 99.8%. Last year at the same time, it was at 100.5%. This indicates that this dam, which is a reserve dam for the IVRS, has stood firm for several months.
The Bloemhof Dam has seen a slight decline this week. It declined from 99.3% last week to 97.8%, however, it remains in a healthy state. Compared to the present levels, the dam was higher at 104.2 % in the preceding year during the same time.
In Lesotho, the Katse dam rose this week from last week’s levels. The Katse Dam rose from last week’s 86.5% to 86.7% this week while during the previous year in the same week it was at lower 64.5%. The dam’s leap up to the present levels indicates that it is in a much healthier state.
Now hovering at 94.3%, the Mohale Dam has decreased from the levels of the previous week when it was at 96.9%. Compared to the paltry levels of 30.7% at the same time last year, the dam has made substantial recovery. There is hope that in the coming months, the expected rains will recharge catchments in the Kingdom of Lesotho, such that both Katse and Mohale Dams can also recover, and continue to ensure the Lesotho Highlands Water Project remains secure.
The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng calls on consumers to continue to limit their usage to household necessities and to refrain from watering gardens and other non-human consumption.
Industries and the mining sector are also encouraged to play their part using the latest technologies that assist with less water use in their areas of operation. Each drop saved is a drop that will play an essential part in the long-term water availability.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.