Steenbras Lower Dam Wall seen in September 2020. Cape Town dam levels saw a nominal decrease of less than 1% to 99.9% from last week’s 100.5%. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied
Steenbras Lower Dam Wall seen in September 2020. Cape Town dam levels saw a nominal decrease of less than 1% to 99.9% from last week’s 100.5%. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

City of Cape Town dams take a tiny dip to 99% as water usage increases

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Oct 20, 2020

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Cape Town - Cape Town dam levels saw a nominal decrease of less than 1% to 99.9% from last week’s 100.5%, while water consumption increased by 27 million litres per day from an average of 691 million litres per day the previous week to 718 million litres per day, according to the City.

Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said: “At the same time last year, dam levels were at 81.9%.”

Meanwhile, Limberg said consultations around appropriate tariffs and restrictions for the 2020/21 hydrological year (which runs from November 1 to October 31) continue “and the outcome will be communicated in due course.”

“Tariffs are currently on the second lowest level possible in terms of the City’s 2020/21 budget, and have come down significantly since the peak of the drought,” said Limberg.

“The no restriction water-wise tariff which is under consideration will provide slight relief if implemented. The possibility of tariff relief must be balanced against the funds needed to build additional resilience against climate change.

“In a few short years, we have gone from the worst drought to face our city and a potential Day Zero, to the real prospect of zero water restrictions.”

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said: “The province is happy with the current situation when compared to the previous six years.

"We have had a very difficult time since 2014 and we are very happy to see the recovery in our dams and water levels,” said Bredell.

“We are not fully out of the woods yet as a province. Some parts of the province, in particular the agricultural areas of the Central Karoo, are still experiencing extreme drought conditions. But overall, the situation is much better.

“Provincial and local authorities have been working non-stop since 2014 to build greater resilience into all the municipalities when it comes to water.”

Cape Argus

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