Substantial jump in Vaal Dam level, great improvement for Katse Dam

20 January 2021 - 14:31
By staff reporter
The Vaal Dam's level has increased to 74.5%. File image
Image: MARIANNE SCHWANKHART The Vaal Dam's level has increased to 74.5%. File image

The Vaal Dam “inspires optimism for a continuous water supply”, with substantial increases in its levels over comparable periods, says the government.

The dam’s level increased to 74.5% this week - from 55.5% during the same week last year and from 65.3% last week.

The Integrated Vaal River System, which Gauteng in particular relies on, has scored from the strength of major dams being replenished to decent levels after recent rainfalls, the water and sanitation department said on Wednesday.

The system rose from 73.8% last week to 76.6% this week. Last year at the same time, the system was at 64%.

The Grootdraai Dam, which broke the 100% mark, increased further this week. It edged up from last week’s 101.1% to 101.6% this week [102.8% this time last year].

The Bloemhof Dam level increased to a remarkable 108% this week from an equally strong 107.4%. “This is by no means a marginal improvement compared to last year, when the dam was 79.3% full,” said the department.

In contrast, the Sterkfontein Dam recorded a negligible decrease this week, falling from last week’s 96.4% to 96.2%. Despite the drop, the levels are higher compared to the 91.5% during the same period last year.

The good news extends to Lesotho’s Katse Dam.

“Having been floating below the neutral 50% mark at this time last year, when it stood at a low of 25.3%, the Katse Dam has gradually replenished to a decent 52% last week and to 54.6% this week.”

Despite having improved from a depressed state of 11.8% in the comparative period last year, another Lesotho dam, the Mohale, continues to sit at dangerously strained levels of 18.4% for the second consecutive week.

The department of water and sanitation in Gauteng appealed to water consumers “to guard against the mistaken belief there is no need to conserve water. As a water-stressed country, consumers are urged to always intensify their water-saving efforts.”

Over and above attending promptly to burst pipes and leaking taps, the department encouraged water users to install low-flow showerheads and aerators to all taps in the home.

“This is profoundly important given the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus and the need for residents to wash their hands regularly with water and soap.”