Recent rains in parts of the Mpumalanga Province have resulted in a slight 0.9% average increase in dam levels in the province. According to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) weekly state of reservoirs report of 14 January 2019, average water levels in the province’s listed dams increased slightly from 66.7% to 67.6%. The Olifants’ water management area also recorded a slight increase from 57.3% to 57.9%, while the Inkomati-Usuthu catchment recorded a decrease from 69.4% to 69.3%.
Most of the listed dams in the Ehlanzeni District recorded some increases in water
volumes with only the Klipkopjes dam recording a decrease from 48.2% to 46.3%.
On a positive note:
- Driekoppies dam remained unchanged at 63.3%,
- Longmere dam increased from 61.3% to 71.6%,
- Witklip dam increased from 76.2% to 80.9%,
- Primkop dam increased from 35.9% to 40.0%,
- Kwena dam increased from 35.8% to 36.3%,
- Da Gama dam increased from 66.7% to 69.0%,
- Blyderivierpoort dam increased from 59.2% to 68.0% and Inyaka dam increased from 58.4% to 59.3%.
The fact that Kwena dam is below 40% is cause for concern as the dam is part of the strategic supply of water to the capital, Mbombela. Middelburg dam, in the Nkangala district, recorded a slight decline in water volumes from 91.7% to 91.5%. Witbank Dam increased from 88.5% to 88.7% and Loskop Dam increased from 80.5% to 82.7%.
In the Gert Sibande district, most of the listed dams recorded a decline in water volumes with only Grootdraai and Westoe dams showing slight increases. Grootdraai dam increased from 73.3% to 76.0% and Westoe dam increased from 52.1% to 52.7%. The Nooitgedacht dam fell from 100.8% to 98.3%, Vygeboom dam decreased from 101.4% to 101.0%, Jericho dam decreased from 67.3% to 66.9%, Heyshope dam decreased from 81.0% to 80.4% and Morgenstond dam decreased from 65.5% to 65.2%.
The decline in water levels in the listed dams in the Gert Sibande district contributed to the drop in water volumes in the Inkomati-Usuthu catchment. The Department of Water and Sanitation encourages and urges water users, especially those relying on the Kwena dam, to conserve water and to adhere to the restrictions to ensure water security for all. Though rain may fall, it is not enough to fill dams and restore the natural flow of rivers and other watercourses. It is up to all water users to conserve water. – Press release