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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has closed two of the five sluice gates, which were opened at the Vaal Dam to make way for the water inflows expected from rainfalls over the Orange River System (ORS).

“The release of water from the Vaal Dam is due to heavy river flows from the Upper Vaal which is rapidly filling the Vaal Dam. The first gate was closed at 10am this morning, 15 February 2021, followed by the second at 12pm at midday,” the department said in a statement on Monday.

Five sluice gates were opened for the release, with three on 11 February 2021 and two the next day on 12 February 2021.

Initially, the department planned to open three gates, but based on continuing monitoring and analysis of the dam, two more were later opened.

“Before the initiation of the flood control measure of releasing of water, the Vaal Dam had breached the 100% mark. The dam water levels now stand at 105%, which is down from last Thursday’s 106.0%,” the department said.

Department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said the release of water from the dam was proceeding according to plan, with the inflow presently at 427 m3/s and outflow at 701 m3/s.

“We are progressively moving to a stage where enough water is being released from the Vaal Dam to accommodate the expected rains that would have an effect on the ORS, as well as adding to the already rising water levels in the IVRS,” Ratau said.

Ratau said opening of the sluice gates was impacting positively on protecting infrastructure and the dam continued to operate optimally.

“The release continues to be meticulously carried out as there had been no reports of incidents of flooding or damage to property and we reassure the public that the dam will not collapse under the additional pressure,” he said.

SAnews.gov.za

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