KZN dam levels still low, despite heavy rains – Umgeni Water

2016-07-27 12:25
Heavy rains in KZN caused flooding in some areas. (Supplied)

Heavy rains in KZN caused flooding in some areas. (Supplied)

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Durban – Heavy rainfalls throughout KwaZulu-Natal over a three-day period have not significantly improved dam levels in the drought-stricken province.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said that while many dams recorded moderate to heavy rainfall from Sunday to Tuesday, there had been little impact on water levels.

"At this stage, there has been little impact on the levels of major dams that are owned and managed by Umgeni Water."

Harichunder said that there needed to be more consistent rainfall for a significant difference to be made on large dams, including Hazelmere in the north of Durban.

According to Harichunder, the Midmar, Spring Grove and Mearns dams all saw less than 7mm of rain. He did, however, add that the rainfall was the most that the area had experienced in many months.

"The amount of rainfall received at Midmar, Mearns and Spring Grove dams is the highest recorded in the past six months."

SA Weather Service forecaster Julius Mahlangu said that Durban rainfall, from Sunday to Monday, was 54.8mm.

However, Mahlangu said rainfall dramatically increased from Monday to Tuesday, with the weather service recording 99.6mm of rain in the metro.

"This is certainly higher than we normally expect in winter."

All water restrictions remain

Harichunder added that the rainfall could not stabilise Midmar Dam, which was just 45% full. He said possible reasons for the dam’s water levels staying relatively unchanged included the size of the dam.

"This is a large dam and if some rain run-off has made its way into the dam, the amount would be small and, therefore, no noticeable difference would be seen in the level of the dam."

Harichunder said that much of the rain already received had been absorbed into parched ground.

"Consequently there was no run-off into the dam through the river feeder system."

All water restrictions in the province would remain, he said.

Heavy rains hit KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday and Monday, resulting in heavy flooding throughout Durban and the eThekwini region.

Police search and rescue officers and other emergency service personnel attended to a slew of incidents, with landslides and severe flooding reported at a number of the city's informal settlements.

Read more on:    durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  weather  |  drought  |  water

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