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The Department of Water and Sanitation in South Africa has called on water users in the Gauteng province to use water responsibly as dam levels are shrinking.

In a statement, the department is urging water users to be cognisant that the Vaal Dam is responsible for supplying water to households and businesses.

This follows a concern raised by the department over shrinking water levels at the dam, as the country enters the dry winter season.

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The weekly report on dam levels issued by the department showed that the Vaal Dam continues to gradually decline week-on-week, raising concerns that it will soon float below the 50% mark, as the country earnestly enters into the dry winter season.

“Of particular concern is that in the same week last year, the dam was floating at 72.2% indicating that the dam has over time been shrinking to lower levels. Presently, the dam sits at 50.6%, down from 51.3% last week,” the department said.

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Falling water levels in various dams

Other dams alongside the Vaal Dam in the Integrated Vaal River System including the Grootdraai and Sterkfontein dams have also seen a decline in levels this week.

Meanwhile, the Grootdraai Dam level decreased from 89.9% last week to 89.0% this week, while during the same period last year it hovered at slightly less, but stable levels of 76.7%.

The Sterkfontein Dam recorded a minor decrease from last week’s 93.5% to 93.4%.

The decrease in critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System has seen a corresponding but slight decline in its levels, as it dropped from 67.9% last week to 67.7% this week.

In contrast, the Bloemhof Dam recorded an upsurge from 99.5% last week to 100.1% this week. The dam remained stable for months as shown by its levels of 102.9% during the same week last year.

The department also raised concerns over the Katse and Mohale dams as they continue to dwindle week-on-week.

The Mohale dam level has decreased from 15.3% last week to 14.4% this week. During a similar period in the preceding year, the dam hovered at an equally low 33.2%.

Floating at less than 40% for over a year now, the Katse dam is presently at 37.6% and lower than last week’s 38.0%.

The department also reminded water users that to ward off the deadly novel Coronavirus, water is vitally important and therefore “saving as much water as possible is at the heart of saving lives.” 

Edited by ESI AfricaSource: SAnews.gov.za