Water and Sanitation on KwaZulu-Natal dam levels

17 Jun 2021

Dam levels in KwaZulu-Natal experience a decline as the winter season sets in

A weekly report on the status of dam levels issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation this week shows a decline in water levels in some of KwaZulu-Natal’s dams. The Department said the provincial storage capacity has decreased from last week’s 73.0% to 72.6% this week.

Midmar Dam is down from 99.2% recorded in the previous week to 98.9%. Also on a downward trend is the Nagle Dam at 88.6% from last week’s 88.7%. Albert-Falls Dam is this week at 54.8% down from 55.1%. Meanwhile, Inanda Dam is at 97.4% from 97.9%. 

Similarly experiencing a decline this week is the Hazelmere Dam at 50.3% from 51.2%, Driel Barrage Dam at a steep decline to 88.4% from 99.7%, Woodstock Dam at 95.7% from 97.0% and Spring Grove Dam at 98.2% from 99.6%.

Bivane Dam has declined from 97.9% to 94.1%. Hluhluwe Dam is at 95.8% this week from 95.3% last week. Ntshingwayo (78.5%) and Zaaihoek (78.4%) and Wagendrift (100.3%) Dams have recorded declines as well. Last week the dams stood at 79.1%, 78.6% and 100.6% respectively.

The Department indicated that there were some dams that remain above average amid the decline in others. Such dam includes the Spioenkop and Craigie Burn Dams which are unchanged at last week’s 100.1% and 100.6% respectively.

Mearns Dam has slightly increased from 67.5% recorded in the previous week to 80.7%. Also up and although minimally is the Goedertrouw Dam at 74.5% from 74.4%

Speaking on behalf of the Department, spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the minimal declines in dam levels should not alarm residents. He however called for prudent water use.

“You will note that our data shows a minimal decline in some dam levels, with most recording above-average percentages. However, this does not mean we should be reckless with how we use water,” Ratau said.

He added that the province’s largest water supply system, the Umgeni System, has also taken a dip from 84.9% to 84.4%.

“Using water with the utmost care should be part of everyone’s lifestyle. We should really do our best to change our relationship with this precious resource. Report water leaks and infrastructure vandalism, this we cannot overemphasize,” he concluded.

courtesy: www.gov.za

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Water and Sanitation urges residents to save water as dam levels decline due to the dry winter season

10 Jun 2021

Water consumers urged to intensify water conservation as dams rapidly decline due to dry winter season 

The Department of Water and Sanitation Spokesperson, Mr Sputnik Ratau has pleaded with the public to be circumspect in the manner they consume water to ensure the country has enough water stored until the summer rains soak the country.

He issued this plea after the Department issued its weekly state of the reservoir early this week, showing a rapid decline in most dams across the country, something he attributed to the dry winter season. Ratau indicated that, with the exception of the Western Cape, most parts of the country experience satisfactory rains in summer, however, South Africa remains a dry country when compared to the rest of the world.

“The amount of water stored in our reservoirs across the country has taken a knock this week, declining to 83.8% level from last week’s 84.1%. This is however a good improvement compared to last year’s 70% but there isn’t much of a difference, we need to intensify our efforts to save every little drop. This implied that we have 26 908.3 cubic metres available for us out of a capacity of 32 116.4 cubic metres”, he pointed out.

North West province has seen a slight decrease in the level of dams, dropping to 81.4% this week compared to last week’s 82.0%. The province’s dam levels were at 70.6% last year at this time.  The province’s biggest dams are at satisfying water levels. Klipvoor has remained unchanged at its full capacity of 100.7% this week. Bospoort is at 100.7% capacity this week, and Buffelspoort is sitting at 100.1%.

Mpumalanga dam levels have slightly decreased to 85.7% this week, compared to last week’s 86.0%. Longmere Dam has declined by 98.7% this week from last week’s 100%. Westoe Dam in the Usutu river has also decreased sharply from last week’s 80.2% to 78.6% this week. However, the province’s Nooigedacht and Vygeboom dams are at their highest levels at 95.6% and 100.6% respectively. Kwena Dam has remained unchanged at its full capacity with 100.1%.   

Water levels in Limpopo also declined, recording 86.4% this week compared to last week’s 86.6%. Flag Boshielo Dam has dropped from last week’s 93.3% to 92.2% this week. In Mopani Region, a critically low Middel-Letaba Dam continue to drop to 10.0% compared to last week’s 10.2%. Tzaneen dam is however at its full capacity with 100.5%. The biggest dam in Limpopo, De Hoop is steadily full with 99.0% 

Drought effects continue to affect most parts of the Eastern Cape with Nelson Mandela Bay being of the most affected areas, facing acute water challenges. Even though the provincial water storage is above 50% at 59.9%, a slight increase from 52.7% last week, the Algoa Water Supply System with five dams supplying the Nelson Mandela Bay is at a paltry 11.8% this week.

The Department is also making interventions by supplying water with water tankers in areas that are experiencing water supply challenges across the province. These measures will allow communities to have access to freshwater.

In Gauteng, dam levels have remained steady at 99.1%.

Free State Province dam levels have dropped from last week’s 97.2% to 96.8% this week. Fika Patso Dam, which supplies the residents of Phuthaditjhaba in QwaQwa, has dropped from last week’s 91.7% to 91.0% this week. This is however a great improvement from last year’s 44.6% at this time. Free State’s biggest dam, Gariep, has also dropped from last week’s 94.2% to 93.7% this week. 

Northern Cape dams are the only province that has seen an improvement in its dam levels this week with 93.1% compared to 88.7% last week. The province’s Vaalharts and Douglas Storage Weirs are at 93.3% and 110.5% levels respectively. The critically low Karee Dam has also seen a slight improvement with 15.0% this week compared to last week’s 14.9%.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Water and Sanitation calls for wise water use

20 May 2021

KwaZulu-Natal dams takes a dip, DWS reiterates call for prudent water use

The Department of Water and Sanitation in KwaZulu-Natal has reiterated its plea to consumers to use water sparingly as dam levels in the province experienced a minimal decline this week. The provincial storage capacity has declined from 74.0% to 73.8%. Comparative to a similar period last year, dam levels stood at 63.6%.

However, the Department said the decline was not a cause for concern as the province’s main water supply system, the Umgeni Water Supply System was considerably steady at 85.9% from last week’s 86.1%.

Meanwhile, some dams within the System have similarly remained above average this week as compared to the previous week and last year. Midmar Dam is at 100.1% from 100.4%. Nagle Dam is slightly down from 90.7% to 90.4%. Albert-Falls has remained unchanged at last week’s 56.0%. Inanda and Spring Grove Dams have recorded 99.3% and 100.5% respectively.

The Department said it continues to work around the clock to implement long-term measures to ensure water security for all.

“We are committed to carry out our mandate of ensuring water provision for all households in the country. This is as we prepare to hear priority areas which will be tabled by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu next week Tuesday, 25 May 2021, as she will deliver the 2021/22 Budget Vote for the Department in Parliament,” said Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau. 

“We can confirm that the Budget will consist of long-term projects which will need to be implemented in the province and some which will bring immediate relief to communities, especially those experiencing the dire effects of drought” he said.

Ratau said while the Department was geared up to continue with implementation of projects in different parts of the province, it called on water users to play an active role by using water sparingly and reporting water leaks and infrastructure vandalism to their local authorities.

Here’s a look at this week’s dam level status in some KwaZulu-Natal dams:

DamStatus last weekStatus this week
Driel Barrage100.7%100.7%

courtesy: www.gov.za

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Dam levels rise after Cape Town storm

Cape Town’s dam levels have drastically increased thanks to the recent “storm surge”. There has been a substantial increase in the Cape’s dam levels during the last seven days. The levels had increased to just over 4%. At this time last year, the dam levels stood at 61.8% total capacity. 

The Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg, stated that this increase in the dam levels has been a relief considering the dry to start to the Winter season.

Limberg added that residents should continue to be cautious about their water consumption. 

“Although there is currently no reason to be concerned about our immediate water security (provided current restrictions are adhered to), we should not forget the very valuable lessons learnt about the finite nature of our most precious resource,” Limberg said.  

Cape Town dam levels as of 20 July

According to the City of Cape Town, the dam levels had increased to more than 77.2% total capacity. At the same time last year, the dam levels stood at 61.8% total capacity. 

As a result of the heavy downpours, the reservoirs in the wider Western Cape region had risen by more than 50%. The Clanwilliam Reserve had almost doubled its volume from 29% to 52%. The Theewaterskloof levels had risen by 10%. 

Cape Town’s storm sweeps through the city

What would become known as the “Cape Town storm” wreaked havoc through the mother city. Incidents of heavy flooding in the streets, gale-force winds, snowfall, and large ocean swells were reported on Monday, July 13.  

The Minister for Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, had urged residents to stay indoors or to at least limit their travels through the province. 

“While the storm is still ongoing, we urge the public to continue to limit movement around the province. This includes staying away from beaches and promenades and other waterways as much as possible. Conditions along the coastal areas are expected to see storm surges and wave heights of up to 12m in some areas,” Bredell said.

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