The Department of Water and Sanitation urges consumers in the Free State to tighten their belts when it comes to water use. This call followed a significant drop in the water level of reservoirs in the Free State. The dams are below 90% compare than the previous year of 2018 at this period. The latest report, issued on Wednesday (18/09), indicated that dam levels have dropped from 80,2% to 79,4%. The Gariep Dam near Bethulie, the biggest reservoir in the country, is at 80,9%. This is 10% less than at the same time last year. The Welbedacht Dam is at 48,3%, while the Knellpoort is at 66,4%. These two dams near Wepener supply water to parts of the greater Mangaung Metro Municipality.The Erfenis Dam, located between Theunissen and Winburg, is at 89,1%, having dropped from 90,1%. The Groothoek Dam dropped from 33,6% to 33,4%. This dam is approximately 20 km outside Thaba Nchu. The level of the Krugersdrift Dam near Bloemfontein dropped from 94,2% to 80,3%. According to the department, big dams in the province maintained an average level of 90,2% at this time last year. Dr Tseliso Ntili, provincial manager of the department, said the latest statistics show a drastic change in rain patterns. “We should always strive to save water. If water losses are to be reduced drastically, it is imperative to eradicate the dripping taps and leaking pipes in households to have none leaking taps and pipes in all houses. This is imperative. “Water is a precious and scarce resource – it should therefore be used as wisely as possible to ensure that we have enough water stored for generations to come,” he said. “The department would like to urge all water users to reduce water consumption and adhere to water restrictions imposed on them by their respective municipalities.” Consumers are urged to report leakages and burst pipes to their municipalities, but also take responsibility to fix the leakages and burst pipes on their own properties.