One of Africa's leading news sites has reported that it could take as long as five years for South Africa’s dams to recover from the current drought.

Businesstech reports that at a seasonal forecast update briefing convened by the South African Weather Service in Pretoria, the Department of Water and Sanitation deputy director general Trevor Balzer said that even a good rainfall it would take dams up to two years to recover fully.

“We predict that it will take anything from two to three years and even up to five years to recover from the drought we have just come through,” Balzer said, as reported by Reuters.

Authorities have said that national dam levels are at 49%, with at least 6-8 weeks of consistent rainfall needed. The Department of Water and Sanitation said that the Vaal Dam is currently at 27% – and if it drops below 25%, reserve storage will have to be dipped into. Water levels in the Vaal River system were standing at 27% at the beginning of November.

“Once dam levels dip to below 20%, we pull in strategic users like Eskom and others in a bid to save water,” Balzer said.

The City of Johannesburg is currently implementing Level 2 water restrictions. but has warned that it may be forced to implement Level 3 restrictions as is already the case in the Western Cape as of 1 November.

But there is new investment going on across the country. Last month the eThekwini Municipality, in the east of the country, revealed it had acquired loan funding to the value of R700m aand a grant of R93 million which will be injected into the Northern and Western Aqueduct Projects .

City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole said the programme will strengthen the capacity of bulk water supply and meet the needs of the greater eThekwini region.

The funding has been sourced in two ways. It will be received at the end of October 2016 through the Infrastructure Investment Programme of South Africa’s Direct Capital Grant of R93 million, funded by the European Union, and two loan agreements from the Development Bank of South Africa and the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) worth R350 million each.

Read the more about South Africa's drought at Businesstech
Read the full story on the eThekwini region investment at bereamail.co.za

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