Rainfall: Dams fuller than usual after winter rain

2011-06-25 00:00

THE unseasonal winter rainfall has seen a 600% improvement in some of the catchment areas that feed water to dams under Umgeni Water, compared to around the same time in 2010.

Umgeni Water’s Corporate Stakeholder Manager, Shami Harichunder, said that during April, May and June in KwaZulu-Natal the rainfall levels have brought good news for municipalities and consumers and the levels of many dams owned under Umngeni Water are presently in a healthy state.

“As at 21st June 2011, rainfall of between 21, 7mm and 101 mm was recorded in the 12 catchments that feed Umgeni Water’s dams — in some cases 600% improvement in rainfall on the corresponding period in 2010,” he said.

He said the winter rainfall thus far has resulted in some dams, Midmar and Inanda, overflowing while others are between 75% and 91% full.

This is a significant improvement on the corresponding period in 2010, he said, when dam levels varied between 43% and 102%, the latter for Henley Dam, which is used for recreational purposes and not for the supply of water for treatment.

Harichunder said: “At the end of March 2011 the region had generally experienced three consecutive months of very low rainfall and the water resource availability situation for the remainder of the year was looking potentially bleak.

Good rainfall fell in the months of April, May and June, which assisted is restoring the water resource situation to a more acceptable level”.

“Although there was not a full recovery to 100% full in all systems, it was significant enough to ward off the potential threat of any water restrictions in 2011. The situation of water resource availability will be assessed again at the end of the next rainy season.” — Weekend Witness Reporter.

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