Water and Sanitation on impact of hot conditions on water levels

The scorching hot conditions impact the country’s dam levels negatively

The country’s reservoirs are experiencing slight decline because of scorching hot weather conditions in various parts of the country. The weekly report issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation indicates that the water levels in the country’s reservoirs have dropped from last week’s 94.6% to 93.3% this week. The current readings of the national dam levels indicate a slight improvement as compared to last year’s 97.0% at this time.

Northern Cape is the leading province which has experienced a drastic decrease of its water levels from last week’s 99.0% to 95.2% this week. The sweltering high temperatures caused evaporation at the province’s reservoirs leading to a decline to water levels.

North West province is the second province experiencing a decline in its dam levels from last week’s 85’1% to 83.8%. This is also as a result of the scorching hot weather conditions in the province.

Western Cape Province has also seen a decline in water levels in the previous weeks, and the province’s reservoirs have drastically dropped from last week’s 58.0% to 56.3% this week.

Ms Wisane Mavasa, the Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation said high temperatures in various parts of the country have negatively impacted water levels in the already declining dams in different provinces.

“While the current dam levels should not be cause for concern, the continuous drop in some parts of the country remains a worry, the low levels affect water supply to communities. We are therefore encouraging communities to conserve water and be extremely cautious when using dams or rivers to cool off from these hot weather conditions. Let us also avoid venturing into unknown water bodies to try and cool off as it may place your lives at risk,” said Ms Mavasa.

Other provinces which have experienced a decline in their dam levels this week include Free State from 101.5% to 100.6%, Mpumalanga from 97.1% to 96.8%, Limpopo from 86.3% to 86.2%, and KwaZulu Natal from 91.6% to 91.2%.

Despite a drop in the water levels in most provinces, Eastern Cape and Gauteng has experienced a slight increase by 77.7% and 101.5% respectively this week.

The country’s Water Supply Systems are mostly on high levels but are also experiencing a continuous drop. The Integrated Vaal River System has decreased from last week’s 100.7% to 99.8% this week.

Polokwane Water Supply System has also dropped by 100.8% this week, compared to last week’s 101.8%.

Water Supply Systems in the Eastern Cape are also at high levels but have decreased. Butterworth Water Supply System has seen a marginal decrease by 100.1% this week, as compared to last week’s 100.2%. Amathole Water Supply System has also dropped marginally with 102.7% this week, compared to last week’s 107.8%.

Algoa Water Supply System, is still at a very low level registering 14.8% this week, compared to last week’s 14.9%.

The Departmental Spokesperson, Ms Wisane Mavasa said the department, together with other stakeholders are working tirelessly to ensure permanent solution to the declining Water System.

“Due to the constant low levels as well as continuous decline of Algoa Water Supply System, we continue to make an appeal to the community of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the surrounding areas to double their efforts to reduce their water usage and to save water to ensure sustained water supply”, said Mavasa.

Source: Government of South Africa