The Department of Water and Sanitation has reported a slight decrease in South Africa’s dam levels, which show a drop of 1% week-on-week.
“The latest dam level recordings reflect a slight decrease week-on-week, which shows a drop from 70.4% last week to 69.9% this week,” the department said.
Despite the recent rains in the Western Cape, the report released by the department this week painted a bleak picture of two dams, Gamka and Gamkapoort, which are virtually empty at 0.0%.
They are followed by Floriskraal and Stompdrift, whose levels are 4.1% and 4.7% respectively.
However, the report showed a different picture in the Vaal Dam which supplies Gauteng and two other provinces, whose level stands at a reasonable 93.9% compared to 36% at the height of the drought last year.
The Algoa System in the Eastern Cape, which has five dams, has decreased slightly from 33.3% to 32.7% compared to 72.2% last year.
The system includes Nelson Mandela Bay, which is currently experiencing serious water challenges that have forced the metro to impose severe restrictions in and around Port Elizabeth.
The Amathole System, with six dams serving Buffalo City Metro (East London), decreased from 63.5% to 63.2%. Last year this time, it was at 82.2%.
In the Free State, the Bloemfontein System, with four dams serving mainly Mangaung, decreased by 1.2% to 45% from 46.2% compared to 31.3% during the same time last year.
The Crocodile West System in North West, with six dams serving mainly Tshwane, Madibeng and Rustenburg, has also experienced a slight decrease from 98.6% to 98.2%. The system recorded 95.2% last year.
Despite some heavy rains in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Umgeni system, with five dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msunduzi, decreased from 61% to 60.3% this week. The system was at 47.9% during the same time last year.
Clear Rivers Campaign
Meanwhile, in honour of the late and former President Nelson Mandela, the Department of Water and Sanitation is this month spearheading the Clear Rivers Campaign, which is aimed at educating the public about the importance of keeping clean rivers and dams.
The annual campaign follows the call by President Jacob Zuma in his 2014 State of the Nation Address to clear rivers of pollution.
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to foster communities that are actively involved and engaged in the management of water resources in the country, as well as to help communities become water savvy and environmentally conscious