Vaal levels remain stable

The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) levels have shown stability in the past few weeks, despite recording a minor fall this week.

Week-on-week, the IVRS, which is the largest in the country and consists of 14 dams, has seen an incredible increase as a result of widespread rainfalls.

However, this week, the system decreased from 81.7% to 81.2%. In the previous year at the same time, the system was sitting at 54.5%.

An iconic dam in the system, Vaal Dam, is now at 81.4% after a drop from 82.2% last week.

Meanwhile, Grootdraai Dam has dropped for the second week in a row. This week the dam is at 71.3%, down from last week’s 72.7%. This is lower compared to the 76.1% it recorded at the same week last year.

“Although still impressively just below the 100% mark, Bloemhof Dam has seen a slight knock this week. It presently stands at 96.2% from 97.8% last week,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said in a statement.

The current levels of the dam show that it has improved over the months compared to when it stood at 82.9 % at the same time last year.

“For a second subsequent week, the Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State remains above 100% at 100.6 % this week and higher compared to the 100.4% last week,” the department said.

In the Kingdom of Lesotho, there is hope that in the coming months, the expected rains will recharge catchments there.

While Katse Dam continues to slightly drop weekly, it has made a remarkable recovery after being almost completely dry last year. This week, the dam slightly decreased from 66.0% last week to 65.6%.

Mohale Dam fell this week, dashing hopes of recovering in much the same way as the Katse Dam. It dropped from 31.9% to 31.3%. However, this is considerably higher compared to the 2.6% last year at the same period.

The other dams that form part of the system are holding firm as shown below:

• Woodstock – 81.9%

• Zaaihoek – 75.4%

• Jericho – 79.2%

• Westoe – 44.7%

• Vygeboom – 93.3%

• Morgenstond – 79.2%

• Heyshope – 83.6%

• Nooitgedacht – 95.1%

While the level of the IVRS gives comfort with regard to water availability particularly for Gauteng, it is still important to remind all water users to continue to use water sparingly.

South Africa needs all the water it can get and conserve, particularly in this era of the need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by washing hands regularly with water and soap.

Source: South African Government News Agency