The country’s dam levels continue to decline as the drought continues. Recent rains have not had any noticeable effect on dam levels, which have continued to drop.
The National Department of Water and Sanitation has issued a strong warning, especially to the Northern Cape community, to conserve water and use it sparingly. Water storage in the Northern Cape, for example, currently stands at 54.4%, compared to last year at the same time when the average dam levels were at 75.6%. This is a clear indication that the drought is still upon us.
The Orange River is at 52.8% compared to last year’s 57.4% while the Vaal River is at 50.5% compared to last year’s 70.7%.
The Department of Water and Sanitation issued a report outlining the national dam levels
· Spitskop reservoir on the Harts River is at 20%, compared to 60.5% at the same time last year.
· Vaal-Harts storage weir is at 66.8%, compared to 76.7% last year.
· Douglas storage weir is at 86.6 compared to last year’s 94.7%.
· Boegoeberg in the Orange River is at 99.2 compared to last year’s 107.5%.
· Karee, which was recently as low as 2.2%, is now at 5.8%.
Speaking about the ongoing drought, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo said, “We need to understand that the rainfall predictions have pointed out that the drought will be with us for a very long time. Even if it rains now it will take up to 3 years for the dams to fill up to high levels that we are used to”.
The WRC is in the process of preparing a suite of reference material based on WRC drought-related research to assist municipal officials as they deal with the ongoing water scarcity.
The whole country is therefore urged to continue to save water until the envisaged summer rains bring some relief. Residents are also advised to adhere to the water restrictions implemented by their municipalities to avoid running out of water.
Visit the WRC portal www.droughtsa.org for more information on the current drought.