RESERVE WATER BEING INTO VAAL DAM AS DROUGHT CONTINUES IN SOUTH AFRICA

The South African Department of Water and Sanitation has started releasing water from the country’s reserves at Sterkfontein Dam into the Vaal Dam, which supplies the country’s biggest urban concentration of Johannesburg-Pretoria and nearby cities.

The department said here Monday that the move was necessitated by the low water level of the Vaal Dam because of the drought and the high evaporation at the Vaal Dam as a result of high temperatures.

“The water will flow from Sterkfontein Dam into Nuwejaarspruit, then into the Wilge River, which will then feed the Vaal (Dam). The release of the water from the reserve storage at Sterkfontein Dam forms part of the process of managing the dam level at the Vaal (Dam) to stay at or above 25 per cent of capacity,” the department said.

The process, which started on Monday morning, is envisaged to last 54 days till the end of December.

“In total, the release will allow for a maximum of 200 million cubic metres to have been released at the end of the envisaged 54 days. All this water is meant to replenish the Vaal and therefore all those along the waterways of the Nuwejaarspruit, the Wilge and the Vaal are reminded not to engage in any illegal activities like unauthorised abstraction or diversion of the resource,” the department said.

While this will bring some stability to the Vaal Dam, the department warned that the reality of the drought should be realised, and the need to continue water conservation and the wise use of water remains.

South Africa is a water scarce country, ranked as the 39th driest country in the world. All water users are encouraged to adhere to water restrictions. The department said municipalities will continue to enforce adherence to the restrictions according to their bylaws and where necessary take appropriate action.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.