SA: Vaal Dam firm but far low compared to same time last year

11th July 2019

SA: Vaal Dam firm but far low compared to same time last year

Photo by: Reuters

The Vaal Dam has recorded a slight decline this week and is far below what it was at the preceding year in the same week.  The Vaal Dam has seen a sustained drop over the months, which has been ascribed to erratic weather conditions.      

An integral part of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS), the Vaal Dam is the lifeblood of Gauteng and the backbone of the economic fortunes of the populous province. So significant is the Vaal Dam to Gauteng’s economic muscle that industries such as Sasol and Eskom are heavily reliant on it for water supply.

Last year during the same period, the Vaal Dam hovered at 99.4%. Presently, the dam is sitting at 66.8%, which signifies a huge drop from last year’s levels. Despite the decline of the dam, the Vaal is in a relatively firm position. Last week the dam was at 67.5%.

Compared to the Grootdraai Dam, which is also important for the IVRS, the Vaal Dam is floating at lower levels. The levels of the Grootdraai Dam are currently at 69.9%, just a few notches higher than the Vaal Dam. During the same period last year the Grootdraai sat comfortably at 91.1% while last week it recorded 70.3%.

The Sterkfontein Dam, a reserve dam which was used to refill the Vaal Dam in 2016 when Gauteng experienced unprecedented drought, is standing an impressive 92.6%. Last week at the same time, the Sterkfontein Dam was sitting at 92.7%.

Judged against the Bloemhof Dam this week, the Vaal Dam is floating at a shrunken position. Remaining unchanged from last week’s 100.5%, the Bloemhof is still remarkably higher than the Vaal Dam this week. During the same time last year, the Bloemhof Dam was at a strong position at 102.5%

Contrary to the levels of other dams when compared to the Vaal Dam, both the Mohale and Katse dam are at dangerously low levels.

The Katse Dam is hovering at a lowly 26.1%. The only recent time when the dam was at a reasonable state was last year at the same time when it was sitting well above the neutral 50% mark at 59.3%. Last week the dam was at a trivial 27.3%.

The Mohale Dam is at a shrivelling state which has not changed from last week’s 33.4%. During the same period last week, the dam recorded 27.9%.

The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng is cautiously optimist that the Vaal Dam will not experience any sudden changes in its levels and is pinning hopes on the way residents and businesses use water.

In this regard, the Department is monitoring the dams’ levels and is relying on water users to continue to use the resource in a considerate manner. This is especially important because the winter season in Gauteng brings dry weather conditions with very few chances of rainfalls.

Issued by Department of Water and Sanitation