The weekend rains in the drought-stricken western part of the Eastern Cape has brought relief to Nelson Mandela Bay and Gamtoos Valley, where five citrus towns were fast approaching Day Zero due to critically-low dam levels.
Following constant rains over the weekend, local communities, including farmers in Jeffery’s Bay, Oyster Bay, Kouga, Port Elizabeth, Kouga, Patensie, Hankey and Humansdorp can breathe a deep sigh of relief at the prospect of having drinking water at their doorstep.
Tragically, a Nelson Mandela Bay man died from the floods during the heavy storms.
A weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation paints a prosperous picture of the state of water in the western part of the province.
Eastern Cape dam levels, September 2018
As a result of the incessant rains over the weekend, water levels at Kouga Dam rose from a mere 6.8% two weeks ago to a whopping 30.9% this week.
“The state of water has generally improved in areas that were hitherto depressed from the acute shortage of water,” the department said.
Loerie Dam went up from 81.2% to 90.2%, whilst Umtata remains the same as last week at 99.7% and Nahoon decreased from 70.4% to 70.0%.
The department has welcomed the rains which has resulted in some dams supplying the metro experiencing significant increases. As a province, the Eastern Cape sits on 65% exactly.
However, the department has maintained that water restrictions will remain in place, and has asked residents to continue to save water.
In the Western Cape, dam levels have reached a historic 60%, following persistent rains in the province over the weekend.
Dam levels for every province in South Africa
City of Cape Town Deputy Mayor John Nielsen announced that water restrictions will be relaxed to Level 5 from 1 October 2018, and water tariffs will be reduced between 26.6% and 70% per kilolitre.
Theewaterskloof Dam, one of the main six dams that feed Cape Town has risen from 48.7% to 51.1%. Clanwilliam increased from 98.2% to 99%, while Voelvlei is up from 74.4% to 81.1%.
In Gauteng, Vaal Dam is at 92%, a slight decrease from 92.8% the week before. The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) is at 81.2%, the system was at 76.9% during the same period last year.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the Umgeni System which comprises of the Albert Falls, Nagle and Inanda Dams decreased by a fraction, from 71.3% last week to 71%.
The Inanda Dam is at 68%, Albert Falls decreased from 48.3% to 47.9%, Nagle decreased from 71.5% to 71.3%, and Hazelmere Dam has increased from 68.6% to 69.3%.
Dam levels in the Free State decreased from 91.5% to 90.8%.
Dam levels in the North West province has decreased from 67.2% last week to 66%. North West boasts dams such as Disaneng at 52.8% and Setumo at 70.7%.
In the Northern Cape, dam levels are at 85%, a decrease from last week’s 88.5%.
Limpopo is at 68.5%, down from 68.9% last week. Albasini is at 82.9%, Hans Merensky in Phalaborwa is at 101.2%, and Ebenezer at 79.9%.
In Mpumalanga, dam levels are at 75.7%, a drop from last week’s 76.4%. Mpumalanga has dams including Witbank, which is at 97.1%, Buffelskloof 72.4% and Middleburg at 94.8%.
Nationally, water levels are stable with a slight drop from 77% to 76.8% this week. –