DIRE: Cape Town’s supply dam, Theewaterskloof seen at its devastating level of 11%. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Splashed with good rains, farmers and an environmental awareness group have warned that the crippling drought is far from over.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in its report “Farming for a Drier Future” that in areas like the Little Karoo, farmers were still battling the drought that had started in early 2015.

“Water stress is the new normal - and many farmers have started to adapt and innovate,” it said.

“Climate scientists predict that the Western Cape will become drier and experience moderate to strong warming over the next 100 years.

"By 2050, the rainfall in the Western Cape will likely have decreased by about 30% from current levels,” it said.

“Less rain not only has an impact on dams and surface water but affects the extent to which groundwater is recharged.

"Along with rising temperatures and increasing evaporation, the implications of drought and climate change for long-term water security are serious from a food security perspective too,” the report said.

Carl Opperman, chief executive of Agri-Western Cape, said the province is by far not out of the danger zone.

“At this stage, the current rainfall has been very good and it helped many farmers with crops. But in areas like the Little Karoo, we still need heavy rains. That region is in dire need of rain. During this drought, we have also seen many farmers suffer tremendously. For instance, there are grain farmers who have planted crops per hectare. Now it can cost between R3000 and R6000 per hectare... some farmers had no returns. These are the kind of losses farmers have suffered,” he said.

Opperman added that all residents should continue to save water.


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Cape Argus