Steenbras Upper dams. Continued good rainfall in the Western Cape has seen dam levels across the province reach their highest levels in four years, with a few exceptions. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Steenbras Upper dams. Continued good rainfall in the Western Cape has seen dam levels across the province reach their highest levels in four years, with a few exceptions. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Western Cape dam levels reach four-year high

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Aug 5, 2019

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Cape Town - Continued good rainfall in the Western Cape has seen dam levels across the province reach their highest levels in four years, with a few exceptions.

“Some major dams are already 100% full while others like Clanwilliam Dam on the West Coast, have reported a second weekly increase of above 20% for the past week,” said MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.

The total average level for dams across the province is 61.2% -the best level it’s been in four years. On 3 August 2015 the level was 79%. On 2 August 2016 the average dam level for the province was 54%.

“Two years ago on 7 August 2017 the average dam level for the province was 28%. The Theewaterskloof dam at that stage was only 22% full. Currently that dam is more than three times that level at 66.5%,” Bredell said.

The City of Cape Town currently sees its dam levels nearing 80% while the greatest ongoing concern for the province remains the rural Karoo region of the Western Cape where the situation – especially in the agriculture area – remains serious.

Bredell says despite the good rainfall and increased dam levels, citizens across the province are urged to continue using water sparingly.

“The resource will always be under pressure and we need to continue with the good practices we have seen.”

Bredell says when it comes to water restrictions and the possibility of easing restrictions, the levels of restrictions are determined at municipal level, often first following consultations with the National Department of Water and Sanitation.

“For example when it comes to the City of Cape Town, these discussions are generally held at the end of the winter rainfall period where the national department informs the different sectors how much bulk water they can consume in the coming year. Once the department has made these numbers known, municipalities translate this into specific water restrictions. The Western Cape’s new hydrological year begins on 1 November.”

Continued good rainfall in the Western Cape has seen dam levels across the province reach their highest levels in four years, with a few exceptions.

Cape Argus

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