South Africa May Cut Botswana Water Supply With Dam Drying Up

South Africa and Botswana will meet on Oct. 1 to discuss cutting water from the dwindling Molatedi Dam, a move that would have a “severe” impact, a spokesman for Botswana’s Water Utilities Corp. said.

The dam, in South Africa’s North West province, normally provides 500,000 consumers in and around Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, with 16 percent of daily requirements. It is now 8 percent full and under an agreement signed in 1988, supply is halved when the dam falls below 26 percent.

Southeastern Botswana is in the grips of an acute water shortage after the Gaborone Dam, which supplied more than half the capital’s water, ran dry in March. Cuts were implemented in August and are currently in force at least four days a week.

Botswana’s Department of Meteorogical Services expects the southeast to record its poorest rains in 34 years this season, crushing hopes of replenishing the Gaborone Dam.

— With assistance by Mbongeni Mguni

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