South African dam levels

“Consumers should still save water”

South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation is still advising water users to heed the government’s call to save water. This is because of the dry winter spell that has deprived the country of even a drop of rain in the past six months.

"However, Western Cape is having a bumper season with heavy winter rains that have filled the province’s dams beyond the 80% mark," said spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau. "The department’s latest weekly report estimates a combined water storage across the country’s reservoirs at 22 026,1 m3. The figure represents a three-quarter capacity of the country’s total storage. Behavioural change in water conservation is at the heart of the improved water situation in South Africa."

He added that the figure further reflects a positive response among consumers that they are taking the government’s call to save water in their stride.

"This comes after a warning 15 years ago by the World Bank that South Africa was in the category of 30 countries across the world that risked becoming arid in 50 years unless the government embraced vigorous water-saving campaigns to avert a total disaster."

Ratau said that jolted by the warning, the Department of Water and Sanitation embarked on a concerted campaign to urge water users to double their efforts of saving. "It invented among others, the National Water Reform Infrastructure, a framework that is reviewed every five years to assess its impact. The department’s weekly report suggests that although some parts of the country are facing dry conditions, the average dam levels are nearly 70% full.”


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