Home News Province has sufficient water for the season, year

Province has sufficient water for the season, year

211
SHARE

Areas in the south and west of the Province, however, are still extremely dry and under drought conditions.

File image

WITH the water storage capacity of the Northern Cape currently at 86.7%, optimism has been expressed that most of the Province has sufficient water for the season and year.

Areas in the south and west of the Province, however, are still extremely dry and under drought conditions. 

Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Amogelang Moholoeng, pointed out on Friday that the Northern Cape was the driest province in South Africa with an average annual rainfall of about 200 mm. “The scarcity of water resources is a defining feature of this arid environment and behavioural change in water consumption will contribute immensely towards improving the water situation.” 

He added that the full storage capacity of the Northern Cape is only 147.3 million m3 and currently the water storage level was at 127.8 million m3 or 86.7%. 

“Dams in the Orange and Vaal Rivers upstream are both above 75%. This indicates sufficient water for the season and year as the Northern Cape is dependent on upstream dams like the Katse, Gariep and Vanderkloof in the Orange River and Grootdraai, Vaal and Bloemhof in the Vaal River.” 

The Douglas Storage Weir in the Vaal River is at 17.969 million m3 or 110.6%. The full supply capacity of the Weir is 16.245 million m3. Boegoeberg Dam in the Orange River is at 21.576 million m3 or 104.7%, Spitskop Dam in the Harts River is at 58.884 million m3 or 101.8% and the Vaalharts Weir is at 29.362 million m3 or 57.9%. 

“With good late summer rains in some of the eastern and northern parts of the province, groundwater resources are expected to be recharged.”

Meanwhile, the provision of water supply infrastructure is at full capacity in major towns of the Province like Kimberley, Upington, Postmasburg, Kathu and Kuruman.  “The DWS however warns that the migration of people to these areas will increase water shortages when summer approaches in a few months.”

Areas in the south and west of the Province are still extremely dry and the Karee Dam, which is the only municipal storage dam in the Northern Cape and serves the town of Calvinia, is currently empty. 

There are a total of 439 towns and settlements in the Northern Cape with 316 of them dependent on groundwater. The towns and settlements that are dependent on groundwater, account for approximately 40% of the households. A total of 114 are using surface water and only nine towns and settlements are using both surface and underground water.