Water crisis looming in South Africa

A water crisis is looming in South Africa as dam levels continue to decline, authorities warned last Tuesday.

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Due to a sharp reduction in rainfall as a result of the El Nino phenomenon, water levels of dams across the country decline week on week, the Department of Water and Sanitation said in its latest assessment, conducted on a weekly basis.

The assessment conducted earlier this month reflected a 0.4 decrease on dam levels which are currently sitting on an average of 53.4 percent compared with 53.8 percent of the previous week.

ast year at the same time the dam levels were reported to be at 76.2 percent.

There has been a falloff in average dam levels in all nine provinces, the department said, adding that a further fall off of about 10 percent before the onset of the summer rains can be expected.

Of the 211 dams being monitored on a weekly basis, 12 dams are below 10 percent, 64 dams are below 40 percent of capacity while 18 of the dams are at 100 percent.

The department said it has concluded with stakeholder consultations and recommendations are being advanced on how to intensify and ensure water supply during the current low dam levels.

Earlier this year, Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane indicated that it can take more than three years for dam levels to recover to acceptable operating capacities, given the effects of a strong El Nino phenomenon.

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Source: southernafrican

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