Dam levels in integrated Vaal river system decline
Dam levels in integrated Vaal river system decline. Photo: SA News

The dam levels within the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), with the exception of four dams, have fallen this week while one remains unchanged for the second consecutive week.

The system consists of 14 dams, which overlap Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and the Northern Cape provinces.

“Continuing to drop weekly, the IVRS has decreased further this week. It dropped from the level of 89.9% last week to 89.5% this week. In the previous year during the same week, the system was at 66.3%. This indicates that it had recovered over the months, placing it in a healthy status,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.

Some of the dams within the system, which have recorded a decline, include the Vaal and the Grootdraai dams.

“On its part, the Vaal Dam saw a drop from 98.7% last week to 98.0% this week. The present level of the dam is a leap up compared with the 48.2% it was during the same week last year. Before the current decrease in the level of the dam, it had soared quite considerably to breach the 100% mark,” the department said.

The level of the Grootdraai Dam has similarly fallen this week.

“It dipped from last week’s 90.8% to 89.9%. In the preceding year at the same time, it was still firmer at 86.2% but lesser compared to the present level.

“In the Free State, the Bloemhof Dam also recorded a decline. The dam is currently hovering at 106.4%, down from last week’s 107.6%. At the same time last year, the dam was at 100.1%,” the department said.

In contrast to the Bloemhof Dam, the Sterkfontein Dam has seen an upsurge this week.

“The dam increased slightly from 98.7% this week to 98.9%. The dam presently looks certain to hit the 100%, if its present level is anything to go by,” the department said.

Both of Lesotho’s Katse and the Mohale dams continue to drop each week.

“The former dam has declined to 74.5% this week. This is down from the level of 75.2% at which it hovered last week. At the same time last year, it was further down at below the 50% mark at 36.0%

“As for the former dam, it sunk to 36.5% from last week’s 37.0%. The current level is however a jump from the 12.2% of last year at the same time,” the department said.

The department’s weekly state of reservoir report on the other dams within the system are as follows:

  • Woodstock – 97.0%
  • Zaaihoek – 98.6%
  • Jericho – 81.4%
  •  Westoe – 78.6%
  • Morgenstond – 85.4%
  • Heyshope – 86.5%
  • Nooitgedacht – 95.6%
  • Vygeboom – 100.6%

In a bid to conserve water, the department has appealed to water users to install a dual flush toilet or alternatively to avoid pressing the lever completely when flushing urine.

“It is recommended that consumers with large tanks install a cistern displacement device in the toilet to reduce the amount of water used per flush,” the department said. –SAnews.gov.za