SA Dam Levels water

Image via: Adobe Stock

SA dam levels: Seven provinces benefit from torrential rains

The latest weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation shows that SA dam levels have been on the rise.

SA Dam Levels water

Image via: Adobe Stock

SA dam levels have been on the rise for the past two weeks according to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). While seven provinces have already benefited, more rain is expected in the run-up to Christmas. It is likely that the dam levels may soon soar to 55% and beyond which, according to DWS, would be “remarkable”. 


Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation Sputnik Ratau said the people of the Eastern Cape breathed a huge sigh of relief when the rains improved the province and the country’s dam levels after months of dry conditions that left most regions scrambling for water to drink. 

“After plunging below half for several months, local dams this week recorded 51%,” said Ratau. 


Ratau said that in the past weeks, vast parts of the country have been soaked with torrential rains that have changed the water situation drastically, this includes Gauteng.  

The current heavy downpours across SA have increased Gauteng dam levels by 5% from 91,7% to 96,1% since the beginning of December. 

“The increased levels, which include the Vaal Dam, will bring the much-needed relief to Gauteng water users who were worried about the state of low levels of the dam at the beginning of summer,” said Ratau. 


The Free State province has topped the charts with its week-on-week dam level improvement which the report captured at 72,4% this week. 

“The figure reflects a 7% increase compared to the same period last year when the dams stood at 65,2%.” said Ratau. 


Except for the Western Cape and Limpopo, all the provinces registered an increase in their dam levels. 

The Western Cape, which has entered a dry hydrological summer season, dropped its total dam levels from 77,2% to 76% this week. However, the figure reflects a 16% improvement compared to the corresponding period last year when the province experienced a horrible drought. 

“Limpopo dropped slightly from 56,1% to 55,8% this week. However, the situation in Mopani and Mogalakwena districts is a great source of concern as some dams are scraping the bottom. There is virtually no drop in Middel-Letaba Dam which registered a measly 0,7% this week, the same as it was a week ago. The dam supplies Giyani and its sprawling villages,” said Ratau. 

“Glen Alpine Dam that supplies several towns in the Waterberg District, including Mokopane, dropped from 6,5% 5,7% this week. However, the South African Weather Services predicted thundershowers for most parts of the province, giving hope that the water situation might improve by the end of the week”.


While overall SA dam levels were brought down by the Western Cape and Limpopo, Mpumalanga dams recorded a 1% rise week-on-week. 

“This week local dams improved their intake from 63,4% to 64,4%, with 1 635,1 cubic metres of water in reservoir storage,” said Ratau. 


In KwaZulu-Natal, where soft rains have become a weekly occurrence, the DWS saw an increase to its dam levels by a percentage week-on-week. 

“As a result, the dry regions of Zululand and UMkhanyakude are receiving regular rainfalls that have drastically improved their situation,” said Ratau. 


The Northern Cape and the North West have also benefited immensely from the current rainfall. 

The Northern Cape recorded a whopping 7% increase from 87,7% to 94,2%. The North West improved slightly from 63,4% to 64,1%, however, more thundershowers have been predicted in the province this week.

The Department of Water Sanitation has urged water users in rural and peri-urban areas to harvest as much water as they can in the rainy season for future use in the dry winter. Water users in urban areas have been asked to use water wisely and sparingly as SA is not out of the woods yet.