Are we witnessing an act of nature or intervention more divine? The dire state of the Nelson Mandela Bay dams has been transformed by belting rain over the past few days.
The parched Eastern Cape municipality – whose water crisis has surpassed Cape Town’s in terms of low water levels – was hammered by driving rains and a bitter cold front which brought snow and hail with it.
Eastern Cape, Nelson Mandela Bay dams: Water levels for Monday 10 September
Now, things are looking up for the region, for the first time this year. Earlier this winter, the towns of Hankey and Patensie were forced to adopt a water-shedding schedule, as the nearby Kouga dam dropped below 7% of its capacity. The desperate situation had shown no signs of easing until this weekend.
The same can also be said for Churchill dam. Languishing at just 16% full seven days ago, it seems a modern-day miracle has hit the reserve. Hennie Britz, a DA Councillor in Sarah Baartman District Municipality, said on Sunday that Churchill is now 80% full. It looks like he got his figures right, then:
UPDATE: Dam levels in the Eastern Cape improve due to rainfalls at the weekend. Impofu Dam: 30,32%. Kouga Dam: 25,71%.
Loerie (which is a balancing dam): 103,32%
Groendal Dam: 47,17% and Churchill Dam: 81,56%.
— WaterSanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) September 10, 2018
Kouga dam is now four times fuller than it was last week, increasing by a whopping 19%. Impofu dam, the largest