The declining dam levels in the province are a major concern

The Department of Water and Sanitation in Limpopo encourages water consumers in the province to prioritise water conservation as the water situation is at an alarming level. 
A weekly report by the department shows that the province’s average dam level has dropped to 51,6% in the past week. The province has experienced exceedingly hot temperatures in the past weeks, which has resulted in most dams declining drastically.
However, scattered rains fell over parts of the province on Thursday and helped to cool down scorching temperatures. The South African Weather Service issued a warning of yet another heatwave in the province over the coming weekend with temperatures reaching between 33 and 36 degrees.
In these blistering conditions residents are advised to avoid unnecessary exposure and stay indoors until late afternoon when the heat has subsided. Those who are forced by circumstances such as work and school should drink as much as three litres of water a day to cope. Fizzy drinks and alcohol are a definite no-no as this might impact on their health.
The department calls on water consumers in the province to continue using water sparingly and adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities. The weekly report added that water that is stored in reservoirs is 768.8 cubic metres for a capacity of 1522.3 cubic metres. This is a decline compared the same period last year when readings were recorded at 64.7%
Figures on the summary of Water Management Area (WMA) for the province, Limpopo reflect a decline compared to last year this time when water levels were at 65.5% compared to the current 55.6%. Olifants Dam is sitting at 48.6% showing a decline compared to last week’s 62.1%, which should alarm Limpopo residents to continue prioritising water conservation at all
The report further states that Polokwane Water Supply Systems declined by 1% from 49.9% last week to 48.9% this week. The Luvuvhu Water Supply Systems is close to its full capacity at 84.4%, even though it dropped by 0.8% compared to last week when readings recorded 85.2%.

The province has 28 strategic dams under the two Water Management Areas (WMAs), which is Limpopo-North West and Olifants. Water allocation is 84% for agricultural use, 11% for domestic usage, 4% for mining and 1% for industries. About five dams are below 10%.Tzaneen Dam in Groot- Letaba h is sitting at 6.8% while Middle
Letaba in the Greater Giyani Local Municipality is at 3.3%, Modjadji dam in Greater Letaba LM is at 6.0%, the Glen Alpine in Mokgalakwena declined to 3.5%
and Doorndraai Dam is 9.0%. 

The declining dams are having a negative impact on agriculture which uses it for the irrigation of crops. The department, therefore, calls on farmers to always play their role in saving water as it will affect their crops and animals if the dams were to run dry.

Ebenezer Dam in Groot Letaba, which supplies majority of the communities around Polokwane, has declined from 39.6% last week to 37.8% this week 

In Vhembe District area of the province, dam levels are in a satisfactory state with regard to water storage, with Nandoni Dam currently sitting at 88.2% this week, Vondo dam sitting at 81.8% compared to last week’s at 82.8% which brings relief to communities around that area. 

De Hoop Dam in Steelpoort, which supply the community of Sekhukhune and the local mining industry, is at 78.3%, showing a slight decline compared to last week’s at 78.8%. Flag Boshielo in the Olifants has declined slightly from 53.7% to 53.1%. 

The department is appealing to water users in the province to continue using water sparingly and adhere to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities. Water is a scarce resource and catalytic towards economic development and it must therefore be conserved at all times. 

Thapelo Motseo

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