Water storage in the Northern Cape has increased drastically from last week’s 96.8% to 110.3% after heavy downpours experienced in the province and over the country recently, particularly in the inland provinces. Two sluice gates remain open at the Vaal Dam impacting on the Northern Cape as water flows from upstream. The full water supply capacity of the Northern Cape is 146.3 (m3); it has been exceeded and now stands at 161.5(m3).
The Lower Vaal River system is on average at 101.9% with the Lower Orange River system at 107.6% full.
The Vanderkloof Dam which is situated on the border of the Free State and Northern Cape is at 108.63% with a water release of 14.93 m3/s.
In the Orange River system, Marksdrift gauging station is at a height of 2.47metres, Katlani just below the Vaal-Orange Rivers’ confluence is at a height of 7.4 metres, Prieska 6.8 metres and Boegoeberg at 11.7 metres. The water level in Upington has passed 7 metres in height. Neuberg just below the Augrabies is at 6.550 with the Blouputs at almost 4.9 metres.
Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation Mr. Sputnik Ratau, says “communities must avoid gathering along the Vaal and Orange River systems and at bridges as the water is very dangerous at this time.”
Ratau further cautioned that “water storage above 100% in the Northern Cape and anywhere else in the country is no license to waste water”.
The Karee Dam, the only storage dam in the Northern Cape is at 9.6%. Take note that the Karee Dam is the only water storage dam in the Northern Cape, the rest are water storage weirs. Unlike a storage dam whose primary purpose is long term water storage, weirs are balancing dams designed to act as multi-purpose facilities and distribution points from where water is diverted into pipelines, canals or power generating turbines, or to serve as a pumping station hence water levels change week on week.
Water levels along the Orange and Vaal River systems will differ depending on the width and depth of the river.
Source: Government of South Africa