The Department of Water and Sanitation has called on Pretoria residents to conserve water in light of the decline in the Vaal Dam’s water levels. According to the department, the dam’s water levels have dropped from 97.9% to 97.3% since last week. “Water and Sanitation have appealed to Gauteng water users to conserve water as the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) slightly declined to 98.9% from 99.2% last week. At the same time the year before, the IVRS registered 102.1%. The dam stood at 105.7% last year during the same period,” the department stated.
The announcement follows the Tshwane municipality’s plea to residents to use water sparingly as there was a shortage on Rand Water’s side. In addition, the metro recently reminded residents to use water cautiously as water consumption has increased significantly.
According to the department, the decline in the Vaal Dam’s water levels is a cause for concern, and the situation is not helped by other dams experiencing a decrease. The Bloemhof Dam decreased slightly from 100.8% to 99.1% last week, while the Grootdraai Dam level fell to 96.8% this week, from 97.1% the previous week. The Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State remains unchanged at 101.4%, the same as last week. The Katse Dam in Lesotho remains at 99.7% for two consecutive weeks. The Mogale Dam decreased from 98.7% last week to 98.6% this week, adding that the dam was at 96.5% during the same period the previous year.
“We urge all water users to adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities and report water leaks to their local municipality,” the department said.
Meanwhile, residents such as Bonkosi Maphanga, a carwash owner from Soshanguve, said the water restrictions had affected his business negatively because he could not wash cars. “It has put a financial strain on us because we had to buy Jojo tanks which were not on a budget for us to continue working and not face the same issue repeatedly.” However, residents such as Ipeleng Sepeng from Hammanskraal said they were not affected by the water restrictions because they have a borehole.
The metro has also committed to dispatching roaming water tankers to affected areas should water blackouts occur due to water scarcity. However, the situation requires everyone to take responsibility and use water sparingly to avoid water shortages in the future.