Gauteng warned of dire water conditions ahead

Gauteng warned of dire water conditions ahead

Water ditch. Photo is for illustrative purposes only. Picture: Facebook

Consumers have been warned to lessen their water usage or face a bleak future as dam levels dip due to relentless heat conditions.

Dam levels across the country have been falling at an alarming rate, and those that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) have not been an exception. The drop in dam levels has been attributed to soaring temperatures that continue to grip parts the country, resulting in above-average water consumption, reports Caxton Central.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is appealing to both households and industries in Gauteng to keep their water usage in check, and to work on dramatically scaling down their water demand. The province is likely to face a dire situation in the coming weeks and months if excessive water usage continues.

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The IVRS consists of 14 dams that provide water to industries and households in Gauteng. Eskom and Sasol, which rank among the country’s vital economic drivers, rely on the IVRS for their water supply.

The impact of the high temperatures and excessive use of water has been felt in the IVRS, which continues to fall weekly.

The system fell from 71.9% in the first week of December to 71.3% last week. Last year during the same period, the system was at 71.1%. This indicates that the current level of the system is slightly higher compared to last year.

The Vaal Dam. File image.

Critical to the IVRS, the Vaal Dam has taken a knock this week, declining from 78.0% during the first week of the month to 77.0% last week.

During the same period last year, the dam was hovering at 79.4%, showing that the dam is currently slightly lower when compared to last year, when the dam floated at 79.9%.

  • The Sterkfontein Dam is currently lower than what it was last week. The dam went down from 94.5% to 94.3% in the first two weeks of December, the same level it clocked last year during the same period.
  • Equally declining is the Bloemhof Dam, which has gone down from 70.1% to 69.0% in two weeks. Compared to last year at the same time, the dam stood impressively at 80.9%.
  • The state of the Mohale Dam continued to worsen weekly as levels sunk to new lows. However, in the first two weeks of December, the dam remained unchanged at 16.9%. Floating at 27.7% last year during the same period, the Mohale Dam remains stuck in a depressed state.

Taking into account that water consumption per person in the country is higher than the global average, the Department is urging the public to use water sparingly.

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS website. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

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