South Africa: Western Cape records increase in dam levels after heavy rains

South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation’s hydrological report significant improvement across the Western Cape dam system following heavy rainfall in the past few days.

The Cape Town System Dams increased by more than 7% compared to last week, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said.

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) — comprising six dams (Theewaterskloof, Bergriver dam, Upper and Lower Steebras, Voelvlei and Wemershoek dams) supplying water to the City of Cape Town and its surroundings — is sitting at 109.38%, a significant improvement compared to 85% same time last year.

On individual dams, Theewaterskloof, the biggest dam in the Western Cape, which accounts for 54% of the province’s water supply, is at 100% and spilling.

Other dam levels are standing as follows: Misverstand Dam 152.67%; Brandvlei Dam 80.91%; Ceres Dam 101.16%; Gamka Dam 102.49%; Clanwilliam Dam 101.38% and Miertjieskraal 111.71%.

The Olifants / Doorn River Catchment has reached the 100% mark, a very healthy water yield compared to 86.71% of last year.

“It is pleasing to see that Gouritz River Catchment is hovering above 80%, as the system was below 50% at the same time last year.

“Some dams have sluice gates, while others do not have sluice gates. When the dams are full or overflowing, water is automatically released through spillways to control the flow downstream,” the department said.

While DWS is pleased with the significant rainfall, it has acknowledged that the heavy rains and adverse weather conditions have led to significant damage of infrastructure and detrimentally affected lives and livelihoods, especially those in riverbanks and low-lying areas.

“DWS continues to urge citizens to be careful near water resources and facilities, including crossing low-lying bridges.

“The department is currently conducting assessments on the infrastructure and there are no immediate reports of extensive water infrastructure (gauging stations) being damaged or washed away.

“DWS, together with other stakeholders, is monitoring the situation

Source: Nam News Network