Dam levels rising

2011-01-04 19:53

Johannesburg - The water levels of the four largest dams in the Orange River catchment were rising following heavy rains in the past day, the department of water affairs said on Tuesday.

The Vaal Dam was 103% full and three sluice gates were open, spokesperson Linda Page said in a statement.

It had an outflow of 870m³ per second.

In the Free State the capacity of the Bloemhof Dam was currently at 104% with an outflow of 1 000m³ per second.

The Gariep Dam, the largest dam in South Africa, was at 107% with an outflow of 1 670m³ per second which would increase to about 2 900m³ per second, Page said.

The capacity of the second largest dam, the Vanderkloof Dam, was at 107.7% with an outflow of 1 323m³ per second and would increase to about 2 500m³ per second.

As more rain was forecast over the next 24 hours, it was expected that changes to outflows would be made, she said.

"The department of water affairs wishes to again urge all communities to exercise caution in the vicinity of the Vaal Orange River System and affected dams," Page said.

  • Graham - 2011-01-05 07:32

    You're lucky to get 25m3 per second on the Duzi river during the Duzi canoe race....... It's difficult to understand how much water that is - 2900m3! Unreal.

  • sephtonn - 2011-01-05 08:29

    I wish the authorities would get their act together and start saving this overflow for the dry years. Bring back the water tanks.

      Patrick - 2011-01-05 09:12

      Saving it where?

      pawsaw - 2011-01-05 12:27

      I totally agree with Sephtonn! When one thinks of how much damage is caused when weather patterns dispense superfluous amounts of water in certain areas while others are declared disaster areas because of drought it is crazy that our engineers do not create a series of canals throughout the country to disperse the overflows from the flooding to the less fortunate areas such as the Karoo and Eastern Cape and Free State etc and have a national grid which can be controlled through locks etc. There are an abundance of unemployed people as well as people who are skilled who could work together on this as a National project thus creating jobs and uplifting the people who currently merely exist because there is no work. It might also, who knows, have an effect on the rise of acid levels which is currently threatening the Gauteng mining area. To the person who asks where I sincerely hope I have answered your question. One should anticipate the fact that weather patterns can and do change and build into the equation that where there is excess now there may come a time when there will be a shortage and vice versa so that the flow of water can also be reversed. All the prisoners in our jails who are serving time could in that way also be put to hard labour and earn their keep instead of learning new ways of getting something for nothing. In this way we would avert both drought disasters and also flood damage and any excess could be led off by commercial businesses or be led to the sea.

  • natasyav - 2011-01-05 08:46

    What's happening to the eastern cape, P.E. dam situation? Our water bill on its own came to nearly R4000! And we are only 4 in the household.

      Organist-1 - 2011-01-05 09:28

      Not surprising. Costs are up 'cos the "previously disadvantaged" are incapable of thinking. Community taps have either had their washers stolen and are seldom closed after use. After all ( they think) the waster wasted just runs back into the dam.

      B Dubya - 2011-01-05 09:31

      Well then you either have a massive water leak or you are wasting water and not abiding by the quotas set out by the municipality because I also live in PE, also a family of 4 and our water bill was around R400. Do you part and conserve the water and you won't have to fork out all that money.

      KGF - 2011-01-05 10:29

      I agree with B Dubya, you could have a huge water leak, there are companies that specialise in leak detection, might cost you to have them come out but shouldn't be R4000.

      pawsaw - 2011-01-05 12:38

      You seriously need to get in someone from the yellow pages to see whether you have a leak somewhere on your side of the meter. This happened to me last year and I live alone and am incredibly frugal, save every drop I can etc and it transpired that my outside loo which is not used by anyone had a valve or washer thingy pack up and was merrily just running away straight through the sewerage line! It cost about R500 to fix and was impossible to detect because there were no visible or audible sounds due to the cistern having a silencer in it. If you are using that much water then you are part of the problem unless the municipality pipes have a leak on their side of the meter when you will be given a refund. The only way to ensure that you are not at fault is to check your meter and then switch off and see where you have taps dripping or toilets leaking or suspicious green patches in your lawn which you have not been watering. Take into account what your allowed usage is and what peiod this occured over and see what was different in the period when this huge bill presented itself. You will need all your NMBM statements going back to when your water bill was "normal". DO NOT LEAVE THIS AS IT WILL NOT GO AWAY and if it IS your fault you WILL have to pay as well as pay for the costs of repair.

  • Hugh - 2011-01-05 08:58

    Bang goes all the hard work put into rain water harvesting. Government works in crisis and now that there is water they will forget that they must save now for later. A simple rule of thumb is that 20 milion litres of water falls in a 20 mm rain over one square kilometer. Imagine the saving we could all make if we introduced rain water harvesting.

      Patrick - 2011-01-05 09:15

      Yes if everyhousehold could store 10,000lt of rainwater it would make a huge difference to the country. Unfortunatly there are costs involved in that. Perhaos there should be some sort of incentive policy

      B Dubya - 2011-01-05 09:37

      100% agreed on the rain harvesting. It is becoming more main stream now with the green movement but government does need to get behind it and look at rebates, standards for water tanks and lot of other things before it really takes off. People also need to look beyond their garden and pool when thinking of rain harvesting. Using the rainwater to flush toilets, do laundry, wash dishes and other everyday household tasks is where you can benefit the most and there are systems available where all this can be done automatically.

      pawsaw - 2011-01-05 12:49

      My cousin who lives in NMBM only uses rainwater in his home despite the drought! It is costly to set up this good a system but in a water short country if one can afford TV's and luxury vehicles how much more vital is it that you capture free water since nothing can live without it. We grew up on farms know this very well and learned from childhood to save and reuse and we are in our 60's and it is no good waiting until there is a crisis and then acting. DO IT TODAY - we live in a water short country where every drop counts. I have containers in my shower to catch the water that comes off me so that I can use it in my garden and have just instaleed my first water tank myself. This mindset should happen at schools so that large amount of water coming off the roof can be used for toilets and so on and also when in excess led to gardens where food is grown. There is just as much good exercise to be gained in a garden as there is on a sports field and it is where all life starts its cycle.

  • Chris - 2011-01-05 11:36

    I say we should invest in our farm areas. The Karoo most of all. If we can build pipelines for oil, why not for water to the Karoo. The 2900m3 water overflow can feed a multitude of dams and farms.

  • Donovan - 2011-01-05 12:06

    Thank you Lord Jesus for all the rain. The Power of Prayer!

  • Donovan - 2011-01-05 12:06

    Thank you Lord Jesus for all the Rain. The power of prayer can never be underestimated.

  • pawsaw - 2011-01-05 12:56

    An idea I saw years ago perhaps overseas was in a downstairs toilet under a flight of stairs where space was limited: The taps for the basin were set above the cistern which formed a basin with a plug and had place for soap. The water you used when you washed your hands after you had used the toilet went into the cistern to be used for flushing. I have never seen anything like this anywhere here in this country. Perhaps someone who has some knowledge of plumbing could start making this. Houses are getting smaller and hygiene is important and so is water. This would encourage hygiene and also allow for small separate toilets in small houses.

      poosthuizen29 - 2011-01-05 14:17

      pawsaw, I saw one @ Doornpoort Hardware store's bathroom, all it is is the cistern lid is made from fibre glass as a handbasin but the used water then runs into the cistern, I thought it was neat but I never seen it for sale.

  • natasyav - 2011-01-05 15:29

    Will be getting a plumber in. This increase in our bill all started after the municipality came out to fix a leak which was on the outer part of the meter. We are using water water in pool, we don't even wash our cars at home. Grass depends on rain only.

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