The Water and Sanitation department has urged South Africans to use water sparingly now more than ever as the country battles COVID-19.

Water plays a critical role in ensuring good hand hygiene to reduce the spread of corona virus.

This comes as water levels in the Vaal Dam have dropped to below 50% capacity.

The department says the drop was expected because of the low summer rainfall in the catchment area.

Water and Sanitation Spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau says:”Although it is important to point out that when you look at the fact that we always encourage people to use water sparingly during the winter season but also marry the fact that we are now responding to the COVID19 therefore it would be very vital and critical for us to use water sparingly going forward.

The Water and Sanitation department says the low levels are because of low summer rainfall in the catchment area.

Ratau says dams which form part of the Integrated Vaal River System have a capacity of between 60 and 70%.

This is below the 74% capacity of the same time in 2019. But Ratau says there is no reason to worry about a shortage of water during the winter months.

“Because we are getting into the winter season, we do expect that it will fall below 50% very soon but we must remember that the Vaal dam is but one of 14 dams within the Integrated Vaal System. We shouldn’t be concerned at this point because we know that the Integrated Vaal River System is still in a healthy space therefore we do expect that we will be able to go through the winter.”

Water challenges loom in Moutse Village, Limpopo: