Steven Tau
1 minute read
25 Nov 2016
6:06 am

No ‘spectacular’ increase in dam levels despite rainfall – Water Affairs

Steven Tau

The weather service also warned that the 'thunderstorm season' would continue until next year.

Water from at Sterkfontein Dam at Harrismith in the Free State province, 7 November 2016, during the releasing of water from Sterkfontein Dam to support the water needs of Gauteng. The Sterkfontein Dam is a reserve storage for the Vaal Dam. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Although there has been a slight increase in the country’s dam levels following the recent rainfall, the national average stands at 49.3%, compared with the 62.8% recorded in the same period last year, the department of water affairs said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the recent rainfall – that left a trail of destruction in several parts of the country – had not resulted in “spectacular” increases in dam levels.

“The idea was to get anything from 50-60% or 70%,” Ratau said. According to Ratau, replenishing the Vaal Dam – which stood at alarming lows of 25% before the beginning of this month – was expected to be concluded by the end of this year.

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This main artery of Gauteng’s water supply had been bolstered using the Sterkfontein Dam from November 7, ahead of the recent heavy rainfall.

But Ratau said the release of water from Sterkfontein Dam would only be stopped if there was significant rain falling in the catchment area of the Vaal Dam.

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service said the “thunderstorm season” would continue until early next year.

An alert for thunderstorms over the weekend was issued for Gauteng, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.