AGRICULTURE NEWS - Although water supply scenarios for much of the country are currently deemed comfortable, forecasts of a chance of below-normal rainfall for early summer do not bode well for parts of the Eastern Cape and Limpopo where rivers are reportedly drying up.
According to the weekly status report of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), South Africa’s dams are currently at 64% full, down from over 74% at the same time last year.
DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau told Farmer’s Weekly that while supply levels were still deemed comfortable for much of the country, there were pockets of concern, especially in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
“We have some areas where the rivers do not have much water and others that are actually dry. We have some rivers at about 2% and others at 7%,” Ratau said.
He said when river levels fell so low it was virtually impossible to continue to abstract water, even to operate water treatment plants. High temperatures were also leading to increased water use and loss through evaporation.
The SA Weather Service (SAWS) was meanwhile predicting the chance of less rain than normal in spring and early summer, moving towards wetter conditions by midsummer.