With a number of provinces feeling the effects of the drought,
government has called on all South Africans to use water responsibly SA urged to use water.
A team of government Ministers dealing with water scarcity and drought, which is led by Minister of Cooperative Governance
and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Pravin Gordhan recently warned that water is not an abundant commodity in South Africa. “We are the 30th driest country in the world.
Water scarcity is a serious issue in South Africa,” said the Minister, who added that the increasing severity of the drought is impacting negatively on the country in both social and economic terms.
Dam levels Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said that regional water supply dams
and schemes remained water secure and were sitting with a positive water balance.
By mid-November the national average dam level was at 64.3 per cent, compared to storage last year at the same time, when it was 74.6 per cent.
“Generally there is a downward trend, which is indicative of a hydrological and meteorological drought.
The bulk of the economic nodes and national growth points are served
by such schemes, totalling 238 schemes nationally SA urged to use water.
“Currently, KwaZulu-Natal is sitting at 57 per cent. There are however four dams which are at critical levels, which are the Hazelmere Dam, Goedetrouw Dam, Hluhluwe Dam and Klipfontein Dam where mandatory restrictions are in place.
“The current abnormal heatwave has increased evaporation rates significantly and this is one of the reasons for the fall off in capacity from 66 per cent to 64 per cent,” explained Minister Mokonyane.
To minimise the evaporation losses from the Vaal River system, the department has retained storage in the Sterkfontein Dam for as long as possible. The dam is currently 96 per cent full.
By mid-November the drought currently had affected 173 of the 1 628 water supply schemes nationally, serving approximately 2.7 million households or 18 per cent of the total national population.
Four provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North West and Limpopo – have declared drought as a disaster,
with Mpumalanga at an advanced stage of preparation for the declaration of drought as a disaster, which was expected to be completed soon.
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