Water Wise Watch: May


In this issue:

  • Local and international water news
  • Updates on water restrictions in your province
  • Weather
  • Dam capacities
  • Drought information and FAQs

Water Wise Tip of the Month from Leslie Hoy

“Automatic irrigation systems must be turned down to reduce watering times and quantities by at least 50%. This will cater for the change in season. All manual watering should be reduced by half.”



This month with Water Wise - Brought to you by Rand Water and Water Wise

Start preparing for winter...
The Nursery at Rand Water has already experienced its first frost! It may be an early winter, but forecasts suggest it will be mild until mid-season. Even though we can expect above-normal temperatures until June, don’t forget to make preparations in your garden for the coming cold. Mulch will keep the underlying soil warm, and frost netting will prevent shrubs and bushes from being frosted. And remember, always be Water Wise!


Water supply to the Vaal Dam described in images (diagram to the left)

There are three main dams that supply water to the Vaal Dam, namely the Woodstock Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State, and Grootdraai Dam in Mpumalanga. This diagram shows portions of the transfer schemes that supply water to the Vaal Dam, specifically the Lesotho Highlands Water Transfer Scheme and the Tugela-Vaal Transfer Scheme. Included are the total dam storage capacities and surface areas for the major dams in the Upper Vaal Catchment.
Look for current dam statuses below.

International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May 2017

This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’. South Africa is well known for its diversity in wildlife, climate, geology, and people, and is noted as one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Celebrate IDBD by encouraging wildlife into your Water Wise garden. Zone your garden into low-, medium-and high-water use plants to use water efficiently in the garden.

Drought FAQs www.droughtsa.org.za/faq.html:

  • A drought is defined as a period of below average rainfall. The severity of a drought is determined by how far below average the rainfall is, for how long the dry period occurs, and to what extent available waterreaches the groundwater.
  • An agricultural drought occurs when there is not enough moisture to support average crop production and grass production.
  • A hydrological drought occurs when there is reduced stream flows and water reserves in aquifers, lakes, and reservoirs fall below a statistical average.
  • A meteorological drought occurs after a prolonged period of below average rainfall (usually less than 70%), creating natural shortages of available water.
  • South Africa has a unique topography that creates a variability in climate in both space and time.
  • South Africa also has one of the most variable river flow regimes in the world.


South African Water Restrictions

The Drought SA portal was developed to provide a gateway to managing water scarcity in times of drought. The website is managed by the Water Research Commission (WRC). Information on other provinces can be found on the website. To view water restrictions in various provinces across the country, click on the image below.





Current dam capacities*:

Woodstock Dam:

Katse Dam:

Sterkfontein Dam:

Grootdraai Dam:

Vaal Dam:

Bloemhof Dam:

Vaal Barrage Dam:

*at time of print 21-04-2017


Weather at Zwartkopjes






For more information on weather in South Africa click here.

Did you know?

  • SA uses about 10 200 million m3 of water a year from its major dams. The majority of water consumption can be attributed to drinking, irrigation, electricity, and mining and industry.
    Ref: DWS (2017)

Water in the News

As Mother City wilts under drought‚ local company makes water from air:
“While Cape Town continues to suffer the effects of a ravaging drought‚ a local company is selling machines that make water out of the air - and lots of it.”

Click on the images below for more info

Government confirms El Niño drought likely this year:

“Drought conditions associated with an El Niño weather pattern are likely to reoccur in a few months time, the South African government said. “Recurrence of El Niño drought conditions likely...”.”

Cape Town finally hits water use target:
“Water consumption in Cape Town has dropped below the city’s 700 million litre per day target for the first time. The city’s inhabitants used 685 million litres per day in the past week, the city said in a statement...”

More nature equals less obesity
and depression:
“Humanity now stands on top of nature, either smashing it or carefully curating it into designated spaces. Cement replaces green fields of grassland. With half the world’s population...”


Despite rains in Gauteng, parts of the country still have alarmingly low dam levels. Visit the WRC Drought Portal for more information on drought links and downloads. Click on the WRC logo to the left to access the portal.

Days to remember:

1 May

Worker’s Day

1 May

Save the Rhino Day

14 May

World Migratory Bird Day

22 May

International Day of Biological Diversity


Connect With Us

www.randwater.co.za and click on the Water Wise logo


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