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Western Cape rains and unexpected wet weather elsewhere boost national water levels

The Theewaterskloof Dam shot up from 72.3% last week to 73.9% this week.Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

The Theewaterskloof Dam shot up from 72.3% last week to 73.9% this week.Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 4, 2022

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Cape Town - After the recent rain across the Cape, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has attributed the week-on-week improvement of the country’s national water levels to the increased rainfall in parts of Western Cape and the unexpected wet weather in other parts of the country.

This comes after yet another weekend of rain. The South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a warning of damaging winds that resulted in localised damage to formal and informal settlements over the central and eastern parts of the Western and Northern Cape on Saturday.

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On Sunday, the weather service issued another warning of disruptive waves resulting in difficulty in navigation at sea and localised disruption of small harbours between Alexander Bay and Cape Agulhas.

A forecaster at the Cape Town weather office confirmed that in Cape Town there was an increase in June rainfall compared with last year. An amount of 157.6mm of rainfall was recorded for the month while 155.2mm of rainfall was recorded for the same period last year.

DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the weekly status of dam levels showed the volume of water had marginally risen from 93.1% last week to 93.3% this week – a significant difference from last year’s 83.3%.

Ratau said six provinces recorded rises in water levels, the most notable in the Western Cape which rose from 56.8% to 59.1%.

“The Free State moved up slightly from 100.7% to 100.8%, Gauteng recorded a slim increase from 100.2% to 100.8%, Limpopo expanded albeit marginally from 88.3% to 88.4%, Mpumalanga witnessed a tiny improvement from 95.1% to 95.2%, and the North West increased from 81.0% to 81.2%,” he said.

Ratau said the Cape Town Water Supply System jumped from 70.8% to 72.5%.

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The Theewaterskloof Dam shot up from 72.3% last week to 73.9%, and the Berg River increased from 81.5% to 82.2%. Ratau said the only Western Cape dam that was of concern was Kammanassie, which was alarmingly low at 4.4% from last week’s 3.8%.

Although dam levels were rising, local government MEC Anton Bredell said people should continue to use water sparingly.

“During the dry summer months, we are watching with great concern how dam levels inch lower and lower each week. Let us now watch levels inching upwards.

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“If we continue to save water now, we will derive the maximum water security going into the next summer season,” he said.

Bredell added that municipalities should continue to maintain all water infrastructure and water distribution networks to ensure the maximum amount of water could flow into storage systems and be able to supply end users with minimum of leakage along the way.

Despite the positive rainfall, the weather office believed that the previously predicted dry winter for the Western Cape region would still prove correct at the end of this year’s season.

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