Cape Town - The South African Weather Service (Saws) has warned of showery and cooler weather conditions over parts of the south coast and adjacent interior of the Western Cape from today, Wednesday, to Friday.
With wind speeds picking up from 19km/h or 10 knots on Tuesday to 37km/h or 20 knots today in Cape Town, the Mother City can expect to experience the first south-eastern of the season.
Cape Town’s south-eastern ordinarily begins in October and runs through to February or March.
SAWS said in a statement that this anticipated change in weather conditions follows the development of a well-defined and slow-moving upper-air trough with persistent low-level onshore flow on to the south-eastern areas of the country.
SAWS said they will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue required subsequent and timely updates.
Meanwhile, the provincial Department of Local Government and Environmental Affairs said that the latest average level for dams in the Western Cape is 81.7%. This is a continued improvement on the average level exactly a year ago, when dams stood at 79.1%.
From the City, Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said that Cape Town dam levels had decreased by 0.7% to 99.8% in the last week, down from 100.5% the previous week. She said at the same time last year, dam levels were at 99.1%.
Limberg said that daily water consumption for the same period decreased to 750 million litres a day from 756 million litres the week before.
Limberg said: “While the healthy 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 rainfall water.
“Cape Town is located in a water-scarce region, and our climate is proving increasingly unpredictable.”
She said the City was enhancing its management of existing water supply, and had accepted that it needs to step beyond its municipal mandate in terms of bulk water supply provision, as it did during the recent drought.
Limberg said with dams now full, some consumers may question whether water tariffs could be lowered to pre-drought levels, when all households received six kilolitres of water a month, free of charge.
“Water usage habits have remained significantly lower than before the drought, and there are very few customers today who purchase the volumes of municipal water that enabled a subsidised allocation.
“The changing circumstances placed the sustainability of the previous tariff model at risk, and left the water and sanitation service vulnerable to climate shocks. It was necessary to build resilience into the tariff model, while adjusting the price of water to a more cost-reflective level,“ she said.