Before looking at the latest dam levels across KwaZulu-Natal, it is vital to highlight the latest warnings from the South African Weather Service (SAWS), issued on Monday, 14 August 2023. According to SAWS, the impending El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event poses a threat to the upcoming Summer rainfall.
The weather service says that the current state of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation places it firmly within an El Niño phase. The latest projections from SAWS indicate that this El Niño pattern is poised to persist throughout much of the upcoming summer season.
The question that naturally arises is: What exactly does this impending El Niño event entail for South Africa’s climate and water resources?
SAWS offered insights into the anticipated effects of this meteorological phenomenon. During the spring months of September, October, and November, El Niño’s influence is expected to exert a confined impact on rainfall patterns across Southern Africa.
However, experts at the meteorological agency issued a cautionary note, indicating that “El Niño will most likely result in drier conditions and above normal/warmer temperatures during mid to late Summer.”
SAWS emphasised the need for caution while acknowledging that the exact magnitude of this El Niño event remains uncertain. However, prevailing indicators point toward a substantial occurrence. It’s crucial to bear in mind that, as SAWS outlined, this assessment is subject to change as the situation evolves.
In response to this imminent challenge, the Department of Water and Sanitation has released its latest report on the state of dams in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Given the foreseen drier summer conditions, the health of these water reservoirs takes on heightened significance.
- Albert Falls Dam: Water levels presently stand at 97%, representing a minor decrease from the previous week’s 97.3%.
- Bivane Dam: Water levels have slightly declined from 100.4% last week to 99.3% this week.
- Craigie Burn Dam: The dam has experienced a modest rise in water levels, reaching 100.3% compared to the previous week’s 100.2%.
- Goedertrouw Dam: The dam maintains its robust status, with levels holding steady at 100.1% this week.
- Hluhluwe Dam: Despite a slight dip, dam levels remain stable at 98%, compared to last week’s 98.5%.
- Inanda Dam: Water levels have seen a minor reduction, currently at 97.4% in contrast to the prior week’s 98.2%.
- Klipfontein Dam: There has been a marginal decrease in levels, which currently stand at 98.4% compared to the previous week’s 98.9%.
- Midmar Dam: Water levels remain consistent at 91.1%, mirroring last week’s reading of 92.5%.
- Nagle Dam: The dam has encountered a decrease in water levels, dropping to 90.6% from the previous week’s 94.2%.
- Woodstock Dam: The dam maintains its elevated levels, standing at 99.3% this week, slightly lower than last week’s 99.8%.
- Zaaihoek Dam: Water levels at this dam remain unchanged this week, standing at 90.6%.
- Hazelmere Dam: Water levels have reached 54.1% this week, a marginal decrease from the previous week’s 54.9%.
- Driel Barrage Dam: Water levels have dipped from 91.8% last week to 90.6% this week, warranting attention to ensure adequate water supply.
- Mearns Dam: The dam’s levels stand at 85.3%, an increase from the previous week’s 78.5%.
- Ntshingwayo Dam (Chelmsford): Water levels are at 72.8%, slightly lower than the prior week’s 73.5%.
- Pongolapoort Dam: The dam’s levels are at 84.8%, slightly lower than last week’s 84.9%.
- Spioenkop Dam: Water levels currently stand at 93.7%, showing a slight decrease from the previous week’s 94.6%.
- Spring Grove Dam: Water levels have slightly declined to 77.8% this week, compared to the former week’s 78.3%.
- Wagendrift Dam: Water levels currently stand at 95.2%, a slight reduction from last week’s 95.8%.
As KwaZulu-Natal’s dam levels oscillate, the imperative of conserving water resources becomes undeniable. With some dams in dire need of replenishment, responsible water usage takes on even greater significance.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the present dam levels in KwaZulu-Natal in the comments section below, as stakeholders and citizens alike come together to navigate these challenging conditions and work towards ensuring sustainable water availability.