Shocking pictures show just how empty the Vaal is

 ·13 Oct 2016

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

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter