South Africa: Water and Sanitation On Vaal Dam Reaching Lower Levels

press release

Vaal Dam continues to plummet, reaching lower levels this week

The Vaal Dam has plunged to a record low this week, reaching the biggest drop in levels compared to this time last year as communities are reeling from fears of the coronavirus.

The dam is a far cry from the 70.8% it recorded last year at the same week, taking a nosedive to 48.9% this week. Last week the dam was at 49.8%.

Similar drops took place in the other dams that are part of the Integrated Vaal River System, which consist of 14 dams. These dams include the Grootdraai and Bloemhof dams.

The Grootdraai Dam fell from 87.8% last week to 86.7% presently. However, the dam is in a much safer position compared with the lower levels of 74.2 % it saw last year in the same week.

On the hand, the Bloemhof Dam is this week at 99.1% compared to last week's 100.6%. At the same time last year it was impressively above the 100% at a significant 104.0%

The Mohale and Katse dams persist to be a concerning sight as they remain in a serious meagre state.

The Mohale Dam worsened this week as it dipped from 13.6% last week to 12.9% this week. This is a decline from the 33.4% in the same week last year and an indication yet that the dam is currently in uncharted territory.

Similarly hovering in a critical state is the Katse Dam, which is on the course to match the levels of the Mohale Dam. The dam is currently 36.6% less when compared with the 37.2% last week. The dam was equally low at the same week last year at 32.6%.

The Sterkfontein Dam increased this week. It rose slightly from 93.6% last week to 93.7% this week. At 93.2% at the same time in the preceding year, the dam has maintained stability over the months.

The Integrated Vaal River system has taken a knock this week, dropping from 67.3% last week to 66.6% this week while during the same time last year it hovered at 73.7%.

The Department of Water and Sanitation notes the drop in the Vaal Dam and other dams during this uncertain time when community members are supposed to practice good hygiene by washing hands with water and soap.

The Department reiterates the message that as community members heed the call to practice good hygiene practices, they should also take care to use water wisely and sparingly to prevent any wastages. To this end, communities should avoid water losses through leaking pipes and taps by fixing or reporting them to the local municipalities.

Water users are also reminded that winter season is upon us and there will be less rains in the next few months. A behavioural change on how water is utilised becomes critical during this period so that the

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