On Monday, 7th November, the Department of Water and Sanitation will make an intervention to stabilise the critically low water levels in the Vaal Dam

According to the department, the dam, which supplies about 12 milion people, was at an all-time low of 26.6%. Added to that is the ongoing drought situation in the country.

The department said it plans to release water from its Sterkfontein Dam reserves on Monday before the Vaal Dam drops below 25%.

“The water will be released into the Nuwejaarspruit which joins the Wilge River on the outskirts of Harrismith flowing into the Vaal Dam. The release will be done in such a way as to avoid flooding,” the department explained.

Should more rain fall during the weekend and raise the Vaal’s water levels,¬† the plan could be reconsidered.

The public has been urged to save water, despite recent rainfall, to ensure that the Vaal Dam is not continually strained.

Some areas in Joburg have already begun experiencing water shedding due to high usage by residents.

“Farmers adjacent to the river are requested to remove pumps, livestock and farming equipment during this period. Farmers are also requested not to abstract the water for agricultural purposes. Offenders will be prosecuted as strict compliance monitoring will be enforced,” the department said.

[Image – Wikimedia Commons]