Heat wave affects Mopani ’s dam levels


TZANEEN-Sweltering temperatures in large parts of the country are gradually reducing the average dam levels, prompting South Africans for sustained rainfalls to boost water resources. Statistics show the levels have dropped by four percent in the past four months when the temperatures started soaring.

Hot regions of Limpopo such as Musina and Lephalale this week peaked at 40 degrees Celcius while areas of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West recorded an average of 38 degrees Celcius.

According to the latest weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation, the dam levels have dropped to 62,3%, a percentage drop compared to the same period last year. However, the good news is that there is 19 946,5 cubic metre volumes of water in the country’s reservoirs.

The figure is expected to improve soon with the regular summer rains that are expected in the first week of next month. Despite the hot temperatures in Mopani, its dam levels improved slightly from 58% to 58,6% this week. Hans Merensky in Phalaborwa, Magoebaskloof between Boyne and Tzaneen, and Vergelegen dropped marginally from their full capacity to an average 98%dams.

However, the situation remains gloomy in Mopani District where three major dams, Tzaneen, Middel-Letaba and Modjadji remained below 20%. The situation is dire in Giyani where its 2 major source of water, Middel-Letaba, dropped to a measly 0,8%. Hydrologically, water extraction is strictly forbidden once a dam has reached the 10% threshold.

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