Citizen reporter
1 minute read
12 Nov 2016
8:40 am

Despite Gauteng floods, the Vaal Dam barely rises

Citizen reporter

Though rain anywhere is always welcome, it may just be that it hasn't been falling in quite the right place.

Dead fish at the Vaal Dam in Deneysville, Free State, 25 August 2016. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Those who were rejoicing at the almighty opening of the heavens this week may have to pause for a double-take on this one.

According to a report in and Gauteng Weather’s Twitter account on Thursday, the torrential Joburg rains have had little effect on dam levels because not enough rainfall was recorded in the Vaal area. The message was that “floods in the city does NOT mean Vaal levels up”.

Since then, according to, dam levels have risen slightly, to just under 28%, but it’s not a major change. The dam’s level was also topped up by reserves being released from the Sterkfontein Dam on Monday, which takes a number of days to show results.

This process will continue until the end of the year.




On Monday, the Vaal Dam levels were at 26.3%. By Thursday, according to Rand Water, it had only risen to 26.5% after 1.5mm of rainfall was recorded.

By Sunday, the dam levels are projected to drop again, so residents are still expected to reduce their water usage in the province, as levels remain at among their lowest in history.

The effect of all this rain in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Pretoria means the soil is quite saturated and further flash flooding is possible. The adverse weather conditions continue to claim property and lives.

In the Joburg waters basins, groundwater will continue to rise, but unfortunately due to historical mining activities much of this water is contaminated by acid main drainage.

A warning has also been issued for further severe thunderstorms, wind and hail.