Mgeni system remains under stress despite rain

Inanda Dam levels increased to 65, 3% (increase of 0, 5% over past six days). Michelle Dennis

WHILE torrential rainfall was received in many parts of Durban and the middle South Coast the past three days, from Friday, 12 May to Sunday, 14 May 2017 the amount of rainfall received at Midmar and Albert Falls is disappointing.

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“In the south of Durban an estimated 200mm was recorded while in the north of the city, at Hazelmere Dam, approximately 100mm was received.”

” Hazelmere Dam is currently at 101 per cent while further north at Maphumulo iMvutshane Dam is at 101, 35 per cent. Both these dams are overflowing,” said Umgeni Water’s Corporate Stakeholder Manager, Shami Harichunder.

He said Midmar and Albert Falls dams require significant amounts of rainfall to lift them out of their situation of stress caused by below-average rainfall over a four-year period.


Inanda Dam levels increased to 65, 3% (increase of 0, 5% over past six days). PHOTO: Michelle Dennis


The average annual rainfall for Midmar and Albert Falls is between 800 mm and 1 000 mm. Rainfall received year to date is below the average.

“Of concern to Umgeni Water is the consistently low level of Albert Falls, which is the largest dam in the Umgeni Water operational area. This dam is dependent, in part, on Midmar to rise sharply. Midmar has to overflow for the level of Albert Falls to increase or there has to be significant amounts of rainfall in its catchment,” Harichunder said.

Currently there are mandatory 15 per cent water restrictions in areas that receive water from the Mgeni system. These areas are uMgungundlovu, Pietermaritzburg and Durban (except Verulam, Waterloo, Sea Tides and Tongaat) and these restrictions will remain until the situation improves.

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Rain figures

From 12 – 14 May about 29mm rainfall was received at Midmar Dam; 58, 2mm at Albert Falls; 39mm at Spring Grove, and 33mm at Mearns.

Levels of dams in the Mgeni system as at Monday, 15 May:

· Midmar = 79, 08 per cent (an increase of 0, 41 per cent from Friday, 12 May)

· Albert Falls = 33, 5 per cent (an increase of 0, 1 per cent from Sunday, 14 May)

· Spring Grove = 85, 86 per cent (an increase of 0, 13 per cent from Friday, 12 May)

· Mearns= 89, 99 per cent (increase of 8, 91 per cent since Friday, 12 May

· Nagle = 73, 4 per cent (an increase of 5, 79 per cent over past six days)

· Inanda = 65, 3 per cent (increase of 0, 5 per cent over past six days)

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Michelle Dennis

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