Dam levels rise after rains

2016-11-24 06:02

THE recent heavy rains in Kwa-Zulu-Natal have made a remarkable contribution to the major dams in the province.

The situation in Hazelmere Dam has returned to normal after a two-year drought. It now stands at 40%.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami­ Harichunder said following good rains from July, the dam has risen to 70% as at 17 November.

Harichunder said in a statement: “All water restrictions in the supply area­ of Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant have been lifted in Verulam, Waterloo, Ballito, Umhlali, parts of Ndwedwe, Seatides and La Mercy.”

The level of Ixopo dam rose to 63%, making a remarkable 40% improvement from last year.

“The increased level of this dam is as a result of some rain and the transfer of water into it through an emergency scheme.

“Mandatory water restrictions of 30% remain in place.

“In the Middle South Coast on 17 November, Umzinto dam, Nungwane dam and EJ Smith dam were overflowing good rainfall received over the past month.”

He said that the levels of other dams in the Mgeni system as at 17 November were Nagle 72% and Inanda 65%. However, the levels of the two dams are also lower than they had been a year ago. Inanda dam was at 85% and Nagle 77%.

According to Umgeni Water the two dams supply the water needs of Durban and in case of Inanda it also contributes to the water needs of the middle South Coast through the south coast line.

“Much of the territorial rains that were received in the past two weeks occurred in areas outside of catchments. This does not assist dams as rain has to fall in dams catchments in order to impact positively on dam levels.

“Rains that fall in urban areas generally make their way into drainage systems and ultimately the sea.

“The current levels of dams in the Umgeni system is a reflection of the impact of the drought which began three years ago and intensified in 2015, leaving major Umgeni Water dams in a serious situation of stress,” Harichunder said.

Weather forecasters at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have predicted that good rains possibly above average are expected at the end of 2016 and or in the first quarter of 2017.

Water restrictions and a reduction of potable water production of 15% at water treatment plants in the Mgeni system by Umgeni water, therefore became imperative to prevent the possibility of major dams failing.

Stringent water conversation and strict adherence to water restrictions are required of users in order to assist in the preservation and prolonged availability of this resource.

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