Dam levels are sitting above 100% but don’t waste a drop, warn Cape authorities
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Cape Town - Despite dam levels in Cape Town cresting the 100% mark for the second year in a row, and the latest average level for dams across Western Cape being pegged at 82.2% compared to 75% a year ago, the authorities continue to urge residents to conserve water.
The total capacity of dams supplying the Cape Town metro increased by 0,50% in the last week, from 101.3% the previous week to 101.8%. At the same time last year, dam levels were at 95.4%.
Meanwhile, the only provincial dams that have increased by over 5% are Ceres and Roode Els Berg Dam. Due to below average rainfall in the last five years, the Gouritz River catchment is still a concern, and it will take significant rainfall to fill these dams.
Daily water consumption for the same period decreased to 696 million litres per day, compared to 738 million litres the previous week.
Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said: “While the robust dam levels are certainly something to be thankful for, we cannot afford to become complacent in our ambitions for water security, and reducing reliance on surface (rainfall) water.
“The City continues to pursue its new water programme and the commitments laid out in its water strategy, come rain or shine,” she said.
Echoing Limberg, Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said: “We have seen good levels of rainfall for the bulk of the province during the winter season, a season which has now drawn to a close.
“We are grateful for the good recovery we see in all our major dams across the province, but we remain concerned about the continuing agricultural drought in parts of the Karoo and the northern parts of the West Coast.”
He said the South African Weather Services had predicted fair weather for this week, barring some possible light rain and ongoing cold weather, and that the province had recorded above average rainfall for the month of August.