Kariba Weed growing on the Garden Route Dam before a specialist contractor was appointed to control the weed. Picture supplied
Kariba Weed growing on the Garden Route Dam before a specialist contractor was appointed to control the weed. Picture supplied

Western Cape dam levels shrink, but there’s enough water stored until summer

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Cape Town - As dams supplying the Cape Town metro decreased by 1.2%, from 71.2% the previous week to 70%, the national Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said there was enough stored water to see the country through the looming dry winter until the next summer rains.

DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said there was enough water in storage across the province and the country, thanks to heavy downpours over large parts of the country from the beginning of February.

“Although the overall average of South Africa’s dams has begun a slight decline, figures show that most of the dams have sufficient water to see the country through the looming dry winter until the next summer rains, provided water users stick to their water-saving practices in the next six months.

“The latest weekly report on dam levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation shows that most dams have between average to full capacity of water in reserve for use in the next coming months. However, the province’s dams are expected to increase when the winter rains start coming down at the end of May,” said Ratau.

Despite the high volumes of water in storage, the DWS has urged South Africans to continue saving water to sustain them through the dry winter.

From the City, Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said: “The capacity of dams supplying the Cape Town metro decreased by 1.2% in the last week. At the same time last year, dam levels were at 56.1%.

“Daily water consumption for the same period increased to 796 million litres per day, compared to 783 million litres the week before.”

Meanwhile, George municipality parks and recreation superintendent Priscilla Burgoyne said the management of Kariba Weed using weevils on the surface of the Garden Route Dam was going well.

“The weed at the Kat River continues to die off. This process takes time, so the visual presence of dying weed gives the incorrect impression that it is not under control. We are satisfied with the control of this section for now.

“A site has been identified at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens for the establishment of a weevil biocontrol station, funded by the Rhodes University Centre for Biological Control, where students will be keeping weevils for the purpose of ongoing treatment of Kariba Weed in the Garden Route Dam. Work on the construction of the biocontrol station will start in May.”

Cape Argus

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