Midmar Dam filled to 70% but more rain is needed to supply Msunduzi

2017-03-01 06:02

MIDMAR Dam is currently 70% full after a weeks of much needed rain however restrictions of 15% in the Mgeni system remain because of the backlogs in rainfall spanning a three year period.

Over the 96 hour period from Monday, 20 February to Thursday, 23 February, a total of 409 mm rainfall was recorded at the six dam sites, Mearns, Spring Grove, Midmar, Albert Falls, Nagle and Inanda, in the Mgeni system.

Although rainfall is more favourable than the same period last year, the overall amount of rainfall received in the entire rainfall season is still below average. This has resulted in rainfall deficit and consequently inadequate water resources in the Mgeni system, causing Midmar and Albert Falls dams to remain consistently at low levels.

“This means that at this stage rainfall has had no impact. However, the possibility of run-off water making its way into the dams exists,” said Shami Harichunder, Corporate Stakeholder Manager, Umgeni Water.

According to Harichunder, the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) for the Mgeni system met last week to discussed the slight improvement in the levels of major dams in the Mgeni system and the amount of rainfall received in the catchments of these dams.

While the JOC was pleased with the steady rise in the level of Midmar it continued to express concern over the level of Albert Falls Dam.

“Various projections and scenarios were presented to this meeting on rainfall and if these projections are correct, more rainfall is expected in the coming months. It is hoped that this will materialises. The projections discussed were from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and South African Weather Service.

“Water restrictions of 15% remain in place because dams in this system, especially Midmar and Albert Falls, are unable to meet the full demands of uMgungundlovu, Msunduzi and eThekwini due to inadequate water resources. It has been estimated that it will take at least three seasons of above-average rainfall for Albert Falls to reach 100%. This is assisted when Midmar Dam begins spilling,” said Harichander.

Midmar is at 70%

Nagle is at 100%

Albert Falls is at 30%

Hazelmere Dam is at 87%.

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