Kimberley residents obtain water from the Vaal River and a significant drop in the level of the Vaal Dam could see water restrictions being imposed locally.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has warned that the levels of the Vaal Dam are continuing to plunge downwards as the country continues to slip deeper into the dry-winter season.
Kimberley residents obtain water from the Vaal River and a significant drop in the level of the Vaal Dam could see water restrictions being imposed locally. With water restrictions now included in the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s annual tariffs, this could result in the price of water in Kimberley surging.
The current level of the Vaal Dam has prompted the Department of Water and Sanitation to call for behavioural change on the part of water consumers.
Presently, the dam stands at 43.4%, which is down from last week’s 44.1% and 65.3% during the same time last year. Judging from the current levels, the pendulum has been ticking against the dam.
The level of Bloemhof Dam also fell this week, recording a decline from 100.1% last week to 99.3%. During the same week last year, the dam was at full capacity at 101.7%.
The Integrated Vaal River System, which consists of 14 dams including the Vaal Dam, has decreased from 64.2% last week to this week’s 63.7%. This points to a decrease over time as the dam was at 69.9% during the same time in the preceding year.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has urged water consumers to work cooperatively with their respective municipalities to lessen the rate of water use to prevent a dire situation during this winter season.
The Department believes that if consumers used water sparingly, it is possible that everyone would have enough water to see them through until the rainy season begins in the next few months.
The Department has meanwhile continued to encourage community members to practice good hygiene practices by using water and soap to wash hands, while at the same time also urging them to use water wisely and sparingly to prevent wastages. The public has also been asked to look out for leaking pipes and taps and fixing or reporting them immediately to the local municipality could save unnecessary water losses.
In its budget, the Sol Plaatje Municipality has made provision for five levels of water restrictions, ranging from reducing non-essential use of water by 20% in Stage 1 to only essential domestic, industrial and commercial use under strict monitoring in Stage 5.
In each stage, the cost of water is increased. For example, the cost of more than 60 Kl of water for residential use in Stage 1, is R43.11 per Kl. In Stage 5, this cost is almost double at R71.86.