File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Slight decrease in Cape Town dam levels as water consumption rises

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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Cape Town – The capacity of dams supplying Cape Town decreased slightly in the last week while water consumption has risen in the Metro.

Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said the dam levels had fallen from 101.8% the previous week to 101%.

She also reported that daily water consumption for the same period increased to 737 million litres per day, compared to 696 million litres the week before.

Commenting on the stability of dams across the province, Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) national spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the Western Cape Water Supply System supplying water to Cape Town and surrounding areas has hovered above 90% for the last two months.

“The Western Cape is fast approaching the end of its hydrological cycle, and all water users are urged to use water sparingly, not forgetting how the province survived the worst drought between 2014 and early 2018.

“The Gouritz River Catchment, which includes large areas of the Karoo, has not recovered due to inadequate rainfall in the last five years. Dams such as Leeu Gamka, Stompdrift and Floorskraal are hovering below 10%, which is concerning.”

He said the department was hoping for good rains in the coming months as the region receives summer rainfall. Nevertheless, he warned that climate change alters rainfall patterns from time to time.

Meanwhile, Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said the cooler weather was not yet over.

“We continue to see some early spring rainfall, which continues to help with water levels in the province.

“The good rains we’ve been receiving do more than fill our dams, they also help to refill underground water reservoirs that our boreholes rely on in the drier years. We’re very grateful for every bit of rain we do receive.”

He said the South African Weather Service’s latest forecast for this week indicates that the province can expect cooler weather all week for most parts of the province and that some intermittent rainfall can be also expected in parts of the province this week.

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