Vaal Dam plummets to lowest levels but not at its worst
Over the past twelve months, the levels of the Vaal Dam in the Vaal Integrated Vaal River System have plummeted by a huge margin but remains a safe notches from reaching the worst drop it saw when Gauteng was hit by a devastating drought.
The Department of Water and Sanitation's weekly state of dams indicates that the Vaal Dam presently sits 31.2%, down from 32.4% last week. The extent of the drop in the levels of the dam show a steady and sustained decline from when it stood at 52.1% during the same period last year.
For the second consecutive week, the Grootdraai Dam is floating at a firm 76.1% and higher than the comparative period last year when it stood at a much lesser 56.8%
Recording a slight upsurge this week, the reserve Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State increased from last week's 94.1% to 94.2%. In the preceding year at the same time, the dam was 91.6% full.
One of the dams to record a major drop this week is the Bloemhof Dam, which saw a decline from 89.2% last week to 87.1%. However, the present levels are comparatively higher than the levels of 85.4% during the same period in the preceding year.
Last year during the same time, the Mohale Dam hovered below the neutral 50% mark. Since then, the dam has dwindled to reach its worst state as it now floats at a record 3.3%. The current levels are further decline from the distressed levels of 3.7% at which the dam stood last week. In the comparative period last year, the dam was at 32.8%.
Similarly, the Katse Dam has been in a free fall for some time now. Presently it is in a shrunken state of 22.7%. As low as the dam is currently, it is nevertheless an improvement from the levels of 13.6% it recorded at the same time last year.
On the other hand, the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), which continues to fall week-on-week, has dropped from 56.9% last week to 56.0% this week while last year at the same time it stood at 61.8%.
The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng stresses the importance of community's participation in efforts to conserve water and wishes to highlight its onerous role in preserving the resource by using it wisely and sparingly.
The Department believes that water users are indispensable in keeping the consumption patterns at a bare-minimum to maintain the stability of the system and to ensure it is not compromised.