Water Wednesday: An update on rainfall, water and SA dams this week

Rainfall can be expected across parts of South Africa each day into this weekend. Accuweather has reported that coastal communities from Cape Town to Durban will receive the most rainfall this week.

Total rainfall of 12-50 mm (0.50-2 inches) will be common in these areas through to Saturday while several rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall are expected around Port Elizabeth.

The recent rains in Cape Town have raised the average dam levels in the Western Cape to 58%‚ a massive improvement from the 16% at the start of the season.

“The rainfall over the past few weeks‚ combined with continued saving efforts by the vast majority of residents‚ has seen dams fill to levels the city hasn’t seen in years. We have managed to steer ourselves away from disaster‚ but must now start considering how best to manage our recovery going forward‚” said Executive Deputy Mayor‚ Ian Neilson.

Durban will experience the heaviest rainfall from late Friday into Saturday. Further Inland, locations from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg and Pretoria can still expect up to 6 mm (0.24 of an inch) of rain from Thursday night into Saturday.

“This would be the first measurable rainfall in Johannesburg since early July,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

“Any rainfall will be beneficial for heading to filling winter wheat and boosting soil moisture ahead of maize planting,” added Nicholls.

Department of Water and Sanitation to resolve Vaal River issues

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), and stakeholders, namely Rand Water, the Gauteng Provincial Government, together with the Sedibeng District and Emfuleni Local Municipalities are still trying to resolve the issues surrounding the pollution of the Vaal River. Stakeholders have been meeting regularly and technicians are back on site and attending to issues notwithstanding that it will take a while to have the system working optimally. The DWS has availed an amount of R20 million to Emfuleni LM in this regard.

Meanwhile, the War on Leaks training programme was marred by controversy after payment to the trainees was delayed. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) transferred an amount of R30 million to Rand Water for the War on Leaks project after several complaints from trainees.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 99.3%.
  • The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 58%.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 60.9% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 61.8%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.


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