Wednesday, 03 February 2021

Pretoria: Critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) recorded a further increase from 78.1% to 82% this week.

“The critical dams in the IVRS persist to hold firm and are rising up, owing to the ongoing rainfalls while the IVRS itself increases its levels to a healthier position week-on-week,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.

The present levels of the system are higher compared to the same week last year when it stood at 64.9%.

The largest system in the country, the IVRS is critical to the economic hub of the Gauteng province, supplying water to key industries such as Sasol and electricity utility Eskom.

Other than Gauteng, the Free State, North West, and Mpumalanga, are reliant on the system for their water supply.

“One of the major dams in the system, the Vaal Dam, recorded a rise this week. Presently hovering at 79.8%, the dam went up from 75% last week.  Judged against last year’s levels at the same time when the dam was sitting at 57%, this week’s levels are substantially higher,” the department said.

Climbing higher to 108.4%, the Grootdraai Dam has improved from 100.8% last week.

“When juxtaposed with last year’s levels at the same period when it was at 101.9%, this week’s levels are a good improvement,” the department said.

The Bloemhof Dam is the only dam within the IVRS that has seen a decline this week.

The dam fell from 109.6% last week to 102% this week.  This week’s levels show a significant rise from last year’s levels when the dam floated at 77.5%.

Meanwhile, the Sterkfontein Dam has recorded an increase this week from 96.4% last week to 96.6% this week. The dam, which is a reserve located in the Free State, recorded 91.9% last year at the same period.

“Despite still being far below the 50% neutral mark, the Lesotho’s Mohale Dam has seen an increase this week. It jumped from 27.4% last week to 38.2% this week. During the same time week last year, the dam had dwindled to a distressing 13.3%,” the department said.

Continuing to see an upsurge week-on-week, the Katse Dam in Lesotho has turned the corner after floating in a shrunken state for a number of months.

“Presently, the dam hovers at an increased 64.8% from 56% last week.  During the same time last year, the dam stood at low 28.3%,” the department said.

The department has thanked the water consumers for responding to calls to use water wisely and sparingly.

“The department urges water users where possible to install a rainwater tanks to collect water rain from the gutters of roofs and to store in rain tanks or similar storage devices for garden irrigation. This water could also be directed to garden areas so that this is not wasted and washed into the storm-water system.”