Coast KZN

20 Apr 2022

Pongolapoort dam monitored amid fears of flooding

Gugu Myenei (Zululand Observer)

The Department of Water and Sanitation says it is closely monitoring the Pongolapoort dam, which has high water levels following the recent heavy rains. Pongolapoort, famously known as Jozini Dam, is currently at 86%.

According to the 85% operating rule for the dam, DWS should be releasing 38 cumecs but 20 cumecs are being released at the moment. A cumec is a measure of flow rate.

‘This lower release is to allow for the security of the infrastructure while communication to communities downstream must still happen,’ said DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau. Ratau said communication to communities downstream is essential as it ensures the protection of lives and livelihoods.

‘Once communication is done, there is a possibility of the release from Pongolapoort dam to be raised to the required 38 cumecs.

‘All sleeve valves are available to release the required amount of water, however, it should be noted that the river will overflow when the release occurs, thus the importance of communication to downstream communities that may be flooded if this would occur without notice,’ he said.