South Africa: KZN Residents Urged to Use Water Sparingly

The Department of Water and Sanitation has urged residents of KwaZulu-Natal to use water sparingly, as it continues to implement bulk water supply projects in various parts of the province.

The department is currently working around the clock to implement the Skhemelele, Mtikini and Tembe Water Supply Projects.

On Wednesday, the department said it is particularly concerned over the decline of water levels at one of the province's largest dams, Albert Falls.

According to a weekly report on dam levels issued by the department, the Albert Falls dam level is at 28.6%, down from last week's 29.3%. This time last year, the dam level stood at 32.6%.

The province's average storage capacity has, however, recorded a slight increase, registering 53.4%, up from last week's 53.3%.

The department's spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said most of KwaZulu-Natal's dams have recorded fairly good levels in the current week due to the recent rainfall.

"We have noted that dams being supplied by Umgeni Water Supply System are actually above average. These include Midmar Dam at 92.5%, Nagle Dam at 75.8% and Inanda Dam at 83.0%.

"The dams recorded 92.4%, 72.8% and 82.2% in the previous week, respectively," Ratau said.

Hazelmere Dam has also slightly increased from last week's 43.9% to 44.0%. The dam recorded 45.7% during this time last year.

Spioenkop Dam remains unchanged at 86.4%, while Pongolapoort Dam has declined from 39.2% last week, to 38.7% this week.

Vaal Dam

The Vaal Dam has seen a decline this week, after recording an upsurge for three consecutive weeks, which progressively placed it in a reasonably stable position.

Prior to the increases, the Vaal Dam was facing a dire situation, as its levels continued to take a nosedive for a protracted period.

This week, the dam level fell from last week's 36.1% to 35.9%. During the same period last year, it stood below the 50% mark but was higher at 40.6%.

Grootdraai Dam has also slightly dropped from 82.9% last week, to 82.5% this week.

Contrary to the Vaal and Grootdraai Dams, Sterkontein Dam, which is located just outside the Free State town of Harrismith, has increased from 94.9% last week, to 95% this week.

Bloemfoh Dam also increased from 81.2% last week, to 82.0% this week.

In Lesotho, Africa's second largest double-curvature arch dam, the Katse is currently sitting at 25.6%. Also in Lesotho, Mohale Dam is in a depressed state, as it sits in shrunken state of 4.5%.

Integrated Vaal River System continues to rise

The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), which consists of 14 dams, continued to rise this week. Presently, the IVRS is 57.4% full.

The department said it remains cautious about the position of the Vaal Dam and the entire system IVRS.

"This will help to avoid any dire situation and to ensure that water supply is not interrupted. The department believes that working together to save water will preserve the limited resource for the long-term," the department said.

It urged water users, including businesses and households, to continuously inspect all internal plumbing, taps, geysers and toilets for any signs of leaks.

"Leakages are responsible for a huge amount of water losses, and so their detection and prompt fixing could save a lot of water," the department said.

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