Gcuwa level up, majority of other dams emptier
Heatwave and drought take toll as demand increases throughout the country
While most dam levels have gone down, the Gcuwa Dam which supplies Butterworth went up 3% to 81.2% when compared to October.
The heat wave and the drought gripping the country and parts of the Eastern Cape have contributed to the drop in dam levels.
In its latest dam levels report, the department of water and sanitation (DWS) said most dams had recorded a decline.
The Amathole water system, which supplies Buffalo City, has dropped 6.1% from last year. The system’s levels are currently sitting at 73%.
The country’s dams have dropped 4.8% overall, the department said.
The decrease in levels “has been exacerbated by the heatwave that has been experienced in most parts of the country, which leads to water evaporation and an increased water consumption by water users”.
In the Amathole system, the Nahoon Dam has dropped the most since September. The dam currently sits at 53.3%, which means it has gone down 12% in the last two months and about 45% in the past year.
The Laing Dam, which has dropped 3% since September, saw the lowest decline in its levels over the past two months. Since last year it has only dropped from 100.7% to 96.5%.
The Algoa system which serves Nelson Mandela Bay has seen a dramatic increase in its levels when compared to the same time last year.
This week it sits at 54.2%, up 24.6% from last year.
Last week’s DWS statement acknowledged the improvement but specified that “the system is not out of the woods yet as it is still not at its capacity, therefore residents are urged to adhere to water restrictions”.
The Tsitsikamma region experienced the most rainfall this past month at 151mm. The lowest amount of rainfall was in Aliwal North, which saw a measly 2mm, far less than its norm of 77mm.
East London received 21mm of rain and this was also considerably less than the city’s norm of 116mm.
Port Elizabeth received 29mm of rain.