body Limpopo

The Marataba Dam in Limpopo, South Africa. / Photo: Flickr/Kolmanski

Mzansi urged to use water wisely as dam levels drop below 50%

Limpopo dam levels have gone down from 50,5% to 49,8%.

body Limpopo

The Marataba Dam in Limpopo, South Africa. / Photo: Flickr/Kolmanski

The heat wave across South Africa has had a bad effect on dam levels in the country. According to a report by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), this week Limpopo dam levels dropped to below 50%.

The drop has led the department to inform residents that there might be possible water restrictions. The action could be taken to help with conservation.

Limpopo dam levels drop below 50%

South Africans urged to conserve water. Photo: Twitter/@GovernmentZA

The DWS revealed that Limpopo’s dam levels have declined from 50,5% to 49,8%. The Tzaneen Dam in the Mopani district has the department concerned with a drop from 7,2% last week to 6,3% this week.

Another challenge that the province is facing is that if rainfall doesn’t intensify in the next two weeks, the citrus industry could suffer. The department also noted Giyani’s water situation.

The town is not very far from Tzaneen and its main source of water is the Middel-Letaba Dam, which is “virtually empty at 3,2%.” The department’s Construction Unit is working on remedying the situation.

They are currently erecting a pipeline that will supply water from the Nandoni Dam to Giyani. Last week, the Polokwane Water Supply System dropped to 48.0% from 48,9%.

Last year, the Luvuvhu Water Supply Systems was sitting at 94.0% this period but it has since declined to 83.8% this week. The DWS is encouraging people to continue using water sparingly in the province to try and avoid water shedding.

Giyani and other areas need an urgent intervention

The Ministerial National Rapid Response Task Team identified Giyani as one of many hotspots in the country where intervention will be urgently implemented. Other areas that have been identified are in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and the North West.

These provinces have suffered from drought which has led to “extremely dry conditions.” The areas are namely: Butterworth, Lusikisiki, Port Alfred, and Alfred Nzo in the Eastern Cape.

In the Northern Cape, Aggeneys in the Namakwa District has been identified. In Limpopo the areas include Mogalakwena in Capricorn, Modimolle, Bela-Bela, Thabazimbi, and Polokwane.

The North West and Eastern Cape have also suffered dam level drops of 50% each. Some areas in the Eastern Cape are already experiencing severely dry conditions, prompting the provincial government to declare them natural disasters.

Minister urges South Africans to use water wisely

The department has also spent millions to refurbish dysfunctional boreholes and to install new ones. On Monday, 21 October 2019, the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, reassured people about the possibility of a looming national drought.

Sisulu urged South African’s to conserve water saying:

“There will not be a need for water shedding if water consumers adhered to calls to save water.”

Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation