Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

Watch: Vaal Dam sluice gates overflowing after heavy rain [video]

What a sight!

watch vaal dam sluice gates overflowing after heavy rain video 1024x576 - Watch: Vaal Dam sluice gates overflowing after heavy rain [video]

The Vaal Dam is rapidly filling and reached capacity for the first time since 2017 the constant rain of recent weeks, enough for the sluice gates to be opened on Thursday, 11 February 2021.

Vaal Dam at capacity

The Department of Water and Sanitation released a statement on Thursday about releasing water from the Vaal Dam, “in anticipation of rainfall expected over the Orange River System”.

“These rains would be as a result of the activities that are building up in the Mozambican Channel, which are expected to impact on the Orange River System. The upshot of the flows from these rains could impact on the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) and the Vaal Dam in particular”.

vaal dam - Watch: Vaal Dam sluice gates overflowing after heavy rain [video]
Image via Twitter: National Department of Water and Sanitation RSA / @DWS_RSA

The department said the dam will “continue to receive inflows from the Upper Vaal”, and that the weather conditions “necessitated the initiation of a flood control release from the Vaal Dam.”

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau explained the opening of the three sluice gates was to release water in order to “protect the infrastructure and to ensure that the Vaal Dam continued to operate optimally”.

Watch: Vaal Dam sluice gates opened

One of the gates was opened at 10:00 followed by the second one at 12:00, with the total outflow expected to be around a safe 649 cubic meter per second. A fourth gate might be opened “as and when the need arises”.

“These releases are managed in such a manner that they would not impact negatively on any roads or such infrastructure in that province”.

Communities will be alerted

The water released from Vaal Dam, which is presently full to the brim at 106.0%, is expected to reach the Bloemhof Dam late tomorrow. Ratau added that “the Bloemhof Dam outflow is currently 400m3/s”.

Officials of the department would still alert downstream communities to the impending increased flow at the Vaal Barrage. It is expected that the released water will show an impact on the water bodies in the Northern Cape from 15 February.

The Integrated Vaal River System is critical as it supplies key entities such as Sasol and Eskom and provides water to Free State, North West and Mpumalanga as well.

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