Gauteng residents' main water source is under threat from consistent dam level declines, the closure of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project -- which will see the dam not receiving water until the end of November 2019 -- and the collapsed Vaal river system. The link between the health of our rivers, dam levels and rainfall patterns is crystal clear.
The Vaal Dam -- one of South Africa's largest dams and a critical water supplier for major economic activities -- declined to 58% during the month of September, a startling difference compared with 81.4% from the previous year around the same period. Real-time data shows the levels are continuing on a downward trajectory -- with levels plunging to around 52.2% since the beginning of this month.
The dam supplies water to about 46% of the country's economy and 33% of the population and forms part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS). Not only does it supply water to Gauteng and most of its Eskom power stations, but it additionally covers important economic hubs in Mpumalanga, Free State and Northern Cape.
Yet, the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation maintains levels have not reached a critical condition, despite recording week-on-week...