Declining levels of the dams in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) are negatively affecting the system after it showed signs of stability as it increased to firm levels.
The IVRS is critical for water supply in major economic sectors in the country including Eskom operated power stations in Gauteng, the Sasol petro-chemical plants on the Mpumalanga Highveld and the North West.
Slightly moving down this week, the IVRS declined from 66.3% last week to 65.5% this week. The present levels of the dam are lower compared to the same week last year when the system was at 81.4%.
Contributing to the drop of the levels of the IVRS this week is the Vaal Dam. The dam fell from 59.3% last to 58.0% this week. This shows a huge difference in the levels of the dam between now and last year at the same time when it stood firmly at a strong 91.9%
Similarly recording a decline this week, the Grootdraai Dam slightly declined to 60.0% from last week's 61.2%. In the preceding year at the same time the dam stood at 84.3%.
The Bloemhof Dam also sunk lower this week. The dam dropped from 96.5% to 94.9% this week. Compared to when the dam was at 98.1% last year during the same period, this week's decline is not significant.
This week the Mohale and the Sterkfontein dams remained stagnant as they held to last week's levels. The Mohale Dam is presently at 33.0% while the Sterkfontein hovers at 92.0%. However, what differentiates the two dams is that during the comparative period last year, the Mohale Dam floated at a trivial 23.1% and the Sterkfontein Dam was on the upsurge at 98.1%
Moving deeper into a depressing state, the Katse Dam dropped from concerning 18.0% last week to 16.9%, confirming that the dam is heading for serious times.
The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng calls on water users to be mindful of the depleting dam levels and urges them to adapt their water use accordingly. The department reiterates the seriousness attached to falling dam levels and the resultant impact on everyone concerned. If individual water users could do their part in saving water an even great impact could be made on keeping the dams stable and taps running.
Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation