The Gauteng Weather Service announced on Tuesday 3 December 2019 that the Vaal Dam had officially plummeted below 40% and was currently at 39.9% capacity.
The news was met by disbelief by some as heavy rainfall was experienced in the area last week.
Latest Gauteng dam levels
According to the Rand Water website, the last update of Gauteng dam levels was five days ago on 29 November 2019.
On Friday, Rand Water said the Vaal Dam was at 41% capacity, Grootdraai Dam at 54.2%, Bloemhof Dam at 69.2% and the Sterkfontein Dam boasted a whopping 91.3% capacity.
The Vaal Dam…the water at 100% would be under the house I’m standing at… pic.twitter.com/yJxlda6jR6
— Shells (@shellsg) October 26, 2019
One user on Twitter said: “Release the water from Sterkfontein – it sits at more than 90% full. And for heaven’s sake, please ensure that effluent stops flowing into the Vaal or none of us can use the water regardless of how full it is.”
While another user responded by saying: “The problem with releasing Sterkfontein is if people don’t change their habits, it’ll be used up … There’s no going off the grid with water. We rely on rain. I think Sterkfontein only gets released when it gets critical.”
Latest on Vaal Dam in Gauteng
As it stands, the Vaal Dam is at 39.9% capacity, dropping from 40% just a day before.
According to the Gauteng Weather service, the dam was 45% full on 10 November 2019, which means that there has been a 5% to 6% decrease over a two-week period.
On 20 October 2019, the Vaal Dam was at 50% which indicates that a two- to three-week time period is all it takes for 5% to dissipate.
Another Twitter user commented, saying: “What did u guys do with the water from the rains 1/2 a week back?”
While another in response said: “Good question…no harvesting system in place seemingly.”
“There are heavy rains coming this week, much of it in the catchment area for the Vaal Dam. I hope by next week we will be up past 60%,” said an optimistic user.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on drought in South Africa
Minister of Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday 3 December 2019 that they would be working with Rand Water to provide new technologies in the quest to ensure the security of water supply.
“We should not escape the reality that South Africa remains a water-scarce country. We need to accept that climate change is a reality and it continues to create imbalances in our rainfall patterns and seasonal changes. And as an arid and semi-arid country, Climate change continues to worsen our situation. We have the responsibility as a country to ensure that we preserve and use sparingly the little resources that we have.”