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Shocking pictures show just how empty the Vaal is

Shocking pictures show just how empty the Vaal is

Social media users have uploaded images of the Vaal Dam, showing how desperately empty the water source has become during the country’s driest year in over a century.

According to the department of water, dam levels, nationally, were at 51% as of September 26, compared with 70% at the same time last year.

The Vaal Dam, which supplies water to economic hub Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria among other areas, was at 30% capacity in early October, with the department expecting capacity to fall to 25% by mid-November if there is no reduction in water consumption.

Faced with severe water shortages, municipalities in Gauteng have implemented water restrictions, with residents in the province left with 28.2% of water levels at Vaal Dam.


If the Vaal Dam system drops below 20% the tale out pumping points will be compromised, Joburg Water has warned.

The country is in dire need of rainfall, with at least some forecast over the next few weeks – however, the South African Weather Service has warned that hot and dry conditions are likely to persist until the end of the year.

The images below have been uploaded to hundreds of Facebook pages, such as Geologica Day by Day, showing the shockingly low water levels of the Vaal.

vaal-dam-05 vaal-dam-04 vaal-dam-03 vaal-dam-02 vaal-dam-01

This drone footage, uploaded by YouTube user Anees Dadabhay shows aerial footage of the dam from 9 October.

More on water

Tshwane enforces water ‘load shedding’ as residents ignore call to cut use

City of Joburg dishes out fines to water wasters

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Joe Black

    Personally I would not be raging about water restrictions if it looked like that where I live.

  • They should have implemented water restrictions already. Not we fine you if you use too much nonsense. Just limit it.

    Haven’t seen any changes in water consumption in any of the companies I have worked at over the last year or the neighborhood I live in (except for some neighbors using sprinklers in the night; against JHB restrictions anyway)

    • Wurnman

      People do not care, only a few of us do however but it’s not enough. Apart from our government cadres suffocating this countries economy the water shortage will do most damage i fear.

  • Wurnman

    Old government should have build smaller dams so that it would look full now….

    • Jimmy Pop


    • Klaus Muller

      Think back 1994, how many people in Johannesburg, Transvaal – fast forward 2016, how many people now? How many new Dams have been built to accommodate increase in population – NADA,NOTHING – money has been BEE’d

  • S’nyakanyak

    No mention about the Katse and Mohale dams in Lesotho which feeds water to the Vaal.

    • Leo J Dranoel

      They’re still fighting on who should be getting the lion’s share of the deal to enable carers (on both sides). So want to have BBEE or whatever it’s called nowadays and the whole project has actually come to a halt.

      • Kagiso

        Cadres have to eat before the rest of us get a drop to drink. The ANC pyramid scheme is unravelling…

  • DDynasty

    The top most photo is the Tzaneen dam (Fanie Botha dam) also pretty empty

  • Selwyn

    Talk about v Rooyen or gupta ot zupta and 100’s of comments appear.
    Water shortage?????—7 comments. Hey guys, I am sh*&ting myself over this!!
    Hey folks!! when the water is finished, it is finish—-and klaar.!!!!!
    Then the student protests will look like a Xman Party for brats.
    PnP, Shoprite and Chercker wont have water at R3.49 a bottle
    Try R13.49 per litre—-imported from Namibia etc. Go figure!

    Also I see someone had at last said 20% dam capacity = 0, yup,= 0 water to be pumped. Why? That last bit is mud, silt and sludge, etc

    I ask the question again!!!.What happened to the 19,000 plumbers???

    Who remembers last year: to take bottled water to towns that HAVE NO MORE WATER. on the way to the coast.????????????

    AND A FEW MONTHS AGO OUR PATHETIC GUVVUMINT TOLD THE ISRAELI DESALINATION TEAM TO LEAVE SA , when minister ‘my ma se gat’ learnt that the water folk were studying this possibilty. Hey people, this should have happened 15 or 20 years ago. Israel does not need rain. In fact the Israel water authority has a problem . How to pay the staff when desalinated water is not needed. no production —no income!!! Now that is a problem SA needs. Don’t believe me ?? Google it

    • Leo J Dranoel

      If all the purification plants were fully maintained, we’d have more water storage. Not to mention the aging water pipes. Takes a few days to weeks before these things get sorted. Sort out service delivery. Get rid of ministers who know ‘sweet [email protected] Adams’ about about their portfolios and to rub salt on the festering wound, they get an unqualified consultant, who at best was just another menially skilled worker. Look @ Roads Agency & City Power. Got a truck, the contract is yours.

  • Wulvz

    We got our water restrictions in Durban, they should implement it there x2

  • xdoomx

    Retarded question but if they’re trying to SAVE water why are they letting it run down the river?

    • Aces_Low

      Not a retarded question at all. A certain amount needs to be released for riperian use. If not, whole ecosystems will die.

  • [email protected]

    The leakages etc also wastes a lot water.. mainenance sucks

  • Quap Mocka

    Thirsty much? #thirstykween

  • JoeCitizen3

    Ever wonder why they can not remove the silt build up for the future so that the dam will be able to hold more water….EISH….corruption & lack of brain power seems from the cANCer …maybe the DA can get things moving in the meanwhile….but NOT a BEEE company….seems @ very high inflated prices….

  • Blapartheid Zulu

    I see people are still watering their gardens in my neighborhood! Going to report them now after seeing this video!!

  • Ahmed

    I have few questions. Why is flood gate opened (letting out water)? What about Harties? Visitors to Harties say its full. Why were pics taken mainly behind the vaal dam wall – after looking at the video from the drone, the still pictures seemed to have been taken from behind the dam wall (just thinking out loud).

  • Lynda Jones

    We’re getting plenty enough rain- Eastern Cape, Jeffreys Bay. This article is misleading in a sense, inasmuch as it calls the Transvaal the whole of South Africa. TVL droughts are a regular occurence, part of the natural weather cycle. Trouble is, humans think they can control the weather.

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