Water levels in the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) have continued to surge this week, rising to steady levels as the system gets replenished by persistent rains.
The IVRS consists of 14 dams that provide water to some parts of Gauteng, including households and industries, such as Eskom and Sasol.
Presently, the average level of the system is at 78.1%, from 76.6% last week. It was at 64.5% at the same time last year.
Despite the increase in the levels of the system, the Department of Water and Sanitation has urged Gauteng residents to use water with caution.
The Vaal Dam, one of critical dams in the system and key to supplying water to households and industry, has recorded an increase this week as it rose from 74.5% last week to 75% this week. During the same period last year, the system stood at 56.2%.
Grootdraai Dam was at 101.6% last week, and is presently reduced to 100.8%. It stood higher at 103.0% during the same time last year.
Sterkfontein Dam, which is a reserve dam in the Free State, has seen a rise in its water levels from 96.2% last week, to 96.4% this week, exceeding the 91.7% it recorded last year at the same time.
Considerably higher than last year when it hovered at 78.3%, Bloemhof Dam, which is currently at 109.6%, contributes greatly to the stability of the IVRS. Last week, the dam floated at full capacity at 108.0%.
Meanwhile, the smaller Mohale Dam in Lesotho continues to hover at low levels of 27.4%, but these are higher compared to the 12.1% last year, and the 18.4% last week.
Katse Dam, also in Lesotho, has seen an improvement in its levels, rising to 56.0% from 54.0% last week. The present levels of the dam show a substantial upswing from the levels of 26.4% it recorded during the same week last year.
The department continues to emphasise demand management as one of the ways of dealing with high demand.
“One other vitally important tool to conserve water is the recycling of the resource for use in homes. Water consumers are encouraged to collect water from basins, showers and washing machines and use it as grey water. Grey water is ideal to be used in toilets and to water the garden,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said.