South Africa, what’s going on? Our electricity supply is nowhere to be seen, our vaccines are taking an age to be distributed, a third wave of COVID-19 was officially announced yesterday, and now we’ve got THIS to deal with. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has asked all citizens to start using water sparingly…
From load shedding to water shedding? South Africans asked to use taps ‘carefully’
This perhaps won’t make much sense when you consider that the national dam supply is only 1/6th empty – but a dry winter has left some officials fearing that another ‘day zero’ scenario could arise soon. The arrival of summer rains is likely to ease these anxieties, but until they arrive, the DWS is encouraging ‘water cautious behaviour’ from the public.
“The DWS has urged the public to be careful in the manner they consume water to ensure the country has enough water stored until the summer rains soak the country. The call follows the department’s weekly report on the state of the reservoir, which showed a rapid decline in most dams across the country due to the dry winter season.”
“The amount of water stored in our reservoirs across the country has taken a knock this week With the exception of the Western Cape, most parts of the country experience satisfactory rains in summer, however South Africa remains a dry country when compared to the rest of the world.” | Statement from the SA government
Provincial dam levels for June 2021
The issue we’ve got is that some places are much worse off than others. Water supply is starting to dip in both the Eastern and Western Capes, and a majority of provinces have LOST significant amounts of drinkable water this year. Nelson Mandela Bay, meanwhile, is running on proverbial steam. The breakdown of the provincial situation is as follows:
- The national dam average is 83% full – but a series of declines and dips in water hot-spots has spooked the DWS.
- North West has seen a slight decrease in level of dams, dropping to 81.4% this week
- Mpumalanga dam levels have also slightly decreased to 85.7%
- Limpopo, Gauteng, and Free State all experienced minor dips this week, too.
- The Algoa Water Supply System with five dams supplying the Nelson Mandela Bay is at a paltry 11.8% this week.
- The wider Eastern Cape has just 60% of its water reserves left.
- The Western Cape is in danger of dropping below the 50% mark, too.
- Only the Northern Cape gets away without any concerns, with reservoirs filled up to 93% of capacity.