Dam levels drop

27 February 2019 | Weather

While some parts of the country have received welcome rains in recent weeks, dam levels are still dropping.

Meanwhile, rain forecasts for the rest of the season remain unfavourable, indicating normal to below-normal rainfall for Namibia.

Namibia's average dam level stood at 34.2% this week, in comparison to the same time last year when the dams were 41% full.

According to the latest dam bulletin, the dams in central Namibia were on average 24.7% full on Monday, compared to 32.7% last season.

The Swakoppoort Dam is currently 18.9% full (2018: 37.7%); Von Bach is 47.9% full (2018: 51.6%); and the Omatako Dam is virtually empty at 0.7% (2018: 0.3%).

The small Friedenau Dam outside Windhoek is 29.7% full (2018: 26.1%). The polluted Goreangab Dam, which is not used for water supply, is 100.5% full (2018: 100.8%).

In the Gobabis area the Otjivero Main Dam is 4.3% full (2018: 10.8%); the Tilda Viljoen Dam is 4.2% full (2018: 35.1%); and the Daan Viljoen Dam is 5.8% full (2018: 24.9%).

In the South the Hardap Dam is only 28.9% full (2018: 47.7%), while the Naute Dam is 101.1% full (2018: 71.3%).

The level of the Oanob Dam near Rehoboth stands at 54.3% (2018: 67.2%) and the Dreihuk Dam is at 1.2% (2018: 9.1%).

The Bondels Dam in the south, the Omaruru Delta Dam in the Erongo Region and the Omatjene Dam in the Otjozondjupa Region are empty – the same as last year.

The Olushandja Dam in the Omusati Region is also empty; last season it was 22.2% full.

According to the latest river bulletin the level of the Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo measured 1.63 m on Tuesday morning, while the Okavango River at Rundu continues to rise slowly and stood at 5.15 m on Tuesday.

The level of the Orange River at Sendelingsdrift rose over the past weekend and now stands at 0.33 m. Water levels in the Lower Orange River remain very low and users should take the necessary precautions.

Satellite images indicate isolated light showers in the north-central and western parts of Namibia today.

According to a post on Weather Today Southern Africa, a low-pressure cell is pulling in moist air from Angola and Zambia, and thundershowers are expected in northern Namibia today.

Some people have been recording their rainfall figures for the past few years and have posted them on Facebook to demonstrate just how worrying the current situation is.

Selma Slabbert has recorded rainfall figures for January to March on their farm near Tsumeb since 2011. According to her they received 325 mm in 2011, 525 mm in 2012, 122 mm in 2013, 470 mm in 2014, 141.5 mm in 2015, 205.5 mm in 2016, 421.5 mm in 2017, and 328 mm in 2018.

In January and February this year, the farm received only 126 mm, she says.

Steve Coetzee records the rainfall at his house in Suiderhof, Windhoek. Since January this year he has measured only 49 mm. In 2018 he measured 54 mm; in 2017, 172 mm; in 2016, 136 mm; in 2015, 62 mm; and in 2014, 365 mm.

The January to May 2019 regional seasonal climate outlook indicates that the bulk of Angola, Zambia, south-eastern DRC, the southern half of Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, eastern Botswana, northern South Africa, Zimbabwe, south Madagascar and the western coastal areas of South Africa, Namibia and Angola will receive normal to below-normal rainfall.


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