Vaal’s rising – but use water wisely
DESPITE the Vaal Dam slowly starting to recover, the Department of Water and Sanitation has urged the public to continue using water sparingly.
This week the Vaal reached just below 45 percent of its capacity due to continued rainfall and the water pumped into the dam from the Sterkfontein Dam between November 7 and December 22.
Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau told The Star that there had been a decent amount of rainfall in catchment areas, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“We’re still in a drought situation and it’s going to take two to five years of good rainfall if we’re going to get out of the drought.
“We need more rain, and the SA Weather Service said it’s possible for this to happen between now and April. We are hoping it will be a good amount of rain because it will assist us with getting through winter,” he said.
Ratau emphasised that when rain falls over most parts of Joburg and Pretoria, the run-off flows into rivers like the Jukskei and Crocodile, which lead to Hartbeespoort Dam.
“The rain that falls in southern Gauteng and the Wilge River area in the Free State is what supplies the Vaal.
“We need a lot more rain over these areas because we have to remember that with high temperatures there is also a high evaporation rate,” he said.
“Nationally, the water level is not doing as well as we’d like. We are seeing a decline in some of the dams, so we need people to be careful with their usage,” Ratau added.
Meanwhile, the SA Weather Service has forecast a 60 percent chance of rain across Gauteng today, with cooler temperatures expected.
“Maximum temperatures in the province will reach between 21 and 24ºC, and it will be mostly cloudy,” said forecaster Victoria Nurse.
“Over Thursday and Friday we are expecting it to clear a bit, with a 30 percent chance of rain in the afternoon.
“On Saturday there will be a 60 percent chance of rain across the province,” she added.