'More rain expected,' says weather service after government warns about decreasing dam levels

Rain. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
Rain. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

While the Department of Water and Sanitation has raised concerns about decreasing dam levels, the South African Weather Service says there should be no panic just yet. 

"We are still currently in the rainfall season, while we cannot be specific, we do expect more rainfall.

"Therefore, to comment on rainfall expectations is a bit premature," forecaster Mbavhu Maliage told News24 on Friday.

SPECIAL REPORT: Water Crisis

This comes after the Department of Water and Sanitation released a statement on Wednesday asking the nation to intensify its water conservation efforts as dam water supplies were beginning to dwindle because of poor rainfall in parts of the country.

The department said average dam levels across the country decreased from 64.3% last week to 63.6% this week.

"Ideally, this time of the year the country should be in the middle of heavy rainfalls, but erratic rainfall has led dams to continue to plummet while others are stagnant," department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said.

Rain expected in February

The area affected the worst is the Makhanda municipality in the Eastern Cape.

"Predictions are that the residents of Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) may soon be queuing for water from water tankers if it does not rain in the next few days. However, the municipality and the provincial government have formed a task team to alleviate the water crisis in the area," Ratau added.

Maliage said there was still a month to go before the end of the rainy season which runs from December to February in most parts of the country.

"We still have the whole month of February where rainfall is expected, therefore we cannot decide while we are still currently in the rainy season that there has not been enough rainfall," she concluded.

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