Drought still has tight grip

2016-04-20 06:00

RECENT rainfall over the past three weeks in some parts of the Northern Cape is no indication that we are out of the woods yet.

The country is still in the grip of a terrible drought that has put many households, industries, municipalities and farmers in dire straits.

Thus, the minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, appealed to all South Africans to be “water wise and use water sparingly”.

According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), Kimberley only received an average of 41 mm of rain over the past three weeks.

The highest rain received was in Kuruman with 96 mm of rain, followed by Vanzylsrus with 89 mm.

Kathu recorded 84 mm of rain, while Phillipstown and Postmasburg received 38 mm.

Towns like Nieuwoudtville, Brandvlei and Calvinia have received no rainfall.

The department further stated that although the latest rainfall had brought relief to drought-stricken parts of the Northern Cape and had recharged some of the water resources, the drought persisted.

A summary of the river study indicates that the lower Orange River Z at Boegoeberg Z stood at 102,7% last week, as compared to last year’s 102,2%.

The Lower Vaal River is currently at 58,7% while last year it was at 81,0%.

The Vaalharts Storage Weir was at 66,8% last week, while last year it was at 79,9%.

The Douglas Storage Weir was at 108,8% last year and last week it was at 107,3%.

Spitskop on the Harts River has drastically declined to 27,8% from the 80,0% last year.

This makes the overall water in storage for the Northern Cape 59,9% while last year it was 85,9%.

It was made clear that the summaries were not representative of all dams within the province or in the water management area.

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