A perspective of the Berg River Dam in South Africa’s Western Cape. Picture: Supplied.

Although tropical cyclone Dineo was downgraded to a tropical storm, she brought rains over parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga which have seen a rise in water levels.

A number of dams around the country have also seen a slight increase in water levels over the last two weeks.

At the end of last week, the department of water and sanitation said that national water storage had shown an increase of 2.3% from 55.6% the previous week to 57.9%.

“This phenomenon further demonstrates that most parts of the country are still water distressed and the meagre rains we have experienced recently in some parts have not made any significant impact for us to say we are out of the woods,” the department said.

Provincial dam levels

Provincial dam levels have shown some improvements, with more than half showing an increase over the last two weeks. At the end of last week, dam levels were as follows:

  • In the Eastern Cape, dam levels increased from 56.9% to 58.2%
  • Free State dam levels increased from 57.2% to 60.8%
  • KwaZulu-Natal showed a slight increase from 47.1% to 47.9%
  • Limpopo increased from 66.1% to 66.9%
  • Gauteng dam levels saw a slight decrease from 86.7% to 86.3%.
  • Northern Cape dams increased from 93.6% to 95%
  • There was a noticeable increase in the North West from 73.8% to 78.1%.
  • Mpumalanga showed a slight decrease from 67.8% to 67.1%
  • The Western Cape, which remains critically low, decreased from 36.2% one and a half weeks ago to 34.9% at the end of last week. The system was at 43% around this time last year.

The Algoa System with five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay increased to 53% at the end of last week. The system was recorded at 89.6% last year during the same period.

The Amatole System with six dams serving Buffalo City was 72.4% one and a half weeks ago and remained the same. This reservoir was measured at 92% last year around the same period.

The Umgeni System with five dams serving eThekwini and Msunduzi rose from 48.7% to 49.8% at the end of last week.  The system was recorded at 58.7% during the same period last year.

There has been a noticeable increase in the Bloemfontein System with four dams serving Mangaung, which increased from 37.9% to 41.6% at the end of last week.

The Polokwane System decreased from 52.2% to 51.6% at the end of last week. During this period last year, it was at 50.9%.

The Integrated Vaal River Systems consisting of 14 dams, which mainly serve Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom saw an increase from 65.5% to 67.5% at the end of last week. During the same period last year, the system was at 59%.

The department encouraged water users to continue using water responsibly and to adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities.