With the Western Cape's dam levels dwindling, the provincial government expects "Day Zero" to arrive in December.

Cape Town - The Western Cape government is urgently preparing for the day the province's dams run dry - "Day Zero" - which it expects will arrive in December.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Thursday briefed the media on the province's plans ahead of the crisis, with the provincial Disaster Risk Management team saying there was a "huge possibility" that Day Zero would arrive before the end of the year.

In that eventuality, water tankers will provide water to the municipalities of Beaufort West, Kannaland, Knysna, Bitou and the City of Cape Town.

The army has also been approached to help with the dispensation of water.

Average dam storage for the province was at 32.4% this week, compared to more than 100% in 2014.

Graham Paulse from the department of local government said: "Provincial and municipal budgets have been reprioritised to fund the R295 million priority programme. Some national disaster relief funding was also received this week. We have been expecting this money for some time. 

"We welcome the funds – R40 million will go to feed aid for farmers, and the remainder to the Cape metro, Theewaterskloof and Bitou. More funding is required however, and we are preparing applications in this respect."

Colin Deiner, provincial head of disaster management, said the municipalities of Beaufort West, Kannaland, Knysna and Bitou are among those at high risk of running dry. 

The medium risk municipalities are: Bergrivier, Matzikama, Swartland, Cederberg, Saldanha, Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Theewaterskloof, Witzenberg, Hessequa, George and Oudtshoorn. 

Cape Argus