National dam levels rise higher than 2017 – water department
Dams across the country have collectively reached nearly 80% capacity – rising above levels recorded this time last year, the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.
"Nationally, figures show that the country's dams, with a total capacity of 32 322.6m3, are standing at 79.3% compared to 70.9% last year," said departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.
"Gauteng recorded a full capacity of dam levels at 100.3%, followed by Free State and North West at 94.5% and 93.5% respectively."
Ratau said, statistically, in the Western Cape dam levels that were recorded at an all-time low three months ago were rising by 5% week-on-week.
Among the numerous dams now spilling over is the Misverstand Dam in the Western Cape, which is at 157.4%. Ratau added that this is quite remarkable as "in April this year water was released into Misverstand from Berg River to augment its alarming state".
Mpumalanga dams were also filling up well – and the province was just over 80% capacity.
This week, six dams in Limpopo also topped up to full capacity, as did three in the North West.
Zaaihoek in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Saulspoort and Welbedacht in the Free State also reached over 100% capacity.
Furthermore, "the Integrated Vaal River System that contributes to the Vaal River is fully functional with its 14 tributaries pouring into the Vaal Dam".
The department did urge, however, that in municipalities where water restrictions had not been lifted residents still needed to use water sparingly.