Gcuwa level up, ma­jor­ity of other dams emp­tier

Heat­wave and drought take toll as de­mand in­creases through­out the coun­try

Daily Dispatch - - News - TYLER RIDDIN

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.

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