The water and sanitation department provided an update on Sunday regarding the water levels at the Vaal Dam which was reported on by Eyewitness News.
The department reported that it had closed five sluice gates at the dam over the weekend due to a reduction in water levels. This decision was made possible by the subsiding water levels, which had continued to decrease after the opening of twelve sluice gates two weeks ago.
The earlier opening of the gates was necessary due to heavy rainfall that caused the dam to overflow. While this action helped alleviate pressure on the dam, it also significantly damaged properties in the neighbouring area. As of Sunday, the water capacity of the Vaal Dam was at around 111%, which represented a continued decrease from previous levels.
Similarly, the Bloemhof Dam had experienced a decline in water levels and was at 107%. Meanwhile, the storage capacity of the Douglas Weir Dam, located at the confluence of the Vaal and Orange rivers, was at 170%.
The department spokesperson, Wisane Mavasa, urged communities to remain alert and to avoid low-lying bridges, overflowing rivers, and streams.
The department was closely monitoring the water flow in the affected rivers and dams and would close more sluice gates if the water levels continued to decrease. As communities brace themselves for the effects of fluctuating water levels, it’s essential to take precautions and heed the advice of the water and sanitation department.
The department has made a strong commitment to prioritizing the safety of communities and minimizing the negative impacts of fluctuating water levels.