Mayor Patricia de Lille said alien vegetation around the dam and in the catchment areas used a huge amount of water. Picture: Supplied.
Cape Town - The City is on a drive to remove alien vegetation near the Wemmershoek Dam catchment area in a bid to save even more water.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said alien vegetation around the dam and in the catchment areas used a huge amount of water and clearing this vegetation would assist the city to conserve water that would have otherwise been used by these trees.

“Over the last year, a City of Cape Town-appointed contractor has cut down over 50 hectares of pine trees from a city plantation used for commercial and industrial purposes. The remaining 110 hectares will be cleared over the next year. Removing these remaining plantations will improve stream flow into the dam and could secure an extra week or month worth of water supply for the city,” De Lille said.

At Wemmershoek, the saving would be approximately 1 million litres a day when all pine trees were removed, she said.

“A process is now under way to ensure that we harvest the remaining plantation in a shorter period in order to minimise the potential loss of water. We will also be in contact with neighbouring landowners to ensure the catchment area outside our boundary stays free of alien vegetation to secure a sustainable run-off into the Wemmershoek Dam.”

This week dam storage levels declined 1% to 36.8%, and only 26.8% of that water is useable.

De Lille said collective water usage by the residents of Cape Town currently stood at 582 million litres a day. “This is 82 million litres above the target usage of 500 million litres a day that we require to see the city through the drought. We appreciate the water-saving efforts of Capetonians and I would like to thank Team Cape Town for their assistance. 

"There are still many more residents and businesses that have to come on board to enhance our water-saving efforts.”

Cape Argus