Cape Town – Residents in the Western Cape have been urged to save water as dam levels are lower than last time this year.
This was revealed by Western Cape MEC of local government, environmental affairs and development planning, Anton Bredell.
Bredell said it has been a relatively dry start to the rain season in the province and the latest figures released by the Department of Water showed dam levels were substantially lower than this time in 2021.
Western Cape dams are 63.57% full compared to 76.62 a year ago.
Wemmershoek, Voëlvlei, Steenbras Upper and Lower, Theewaterskloof, and Berg River Dams, which provide water to Cape Town, are at a combined level of 75.42%. This is significantly lower than the level of 97.53% recorded at the same time, last year for these dams.
“In the absence of prolonged and widespread rain, our only available strategy is to use less water and allow the rain that we do get to fill up our dams as much as possible,” Bredell said.
He urged municipalities to ensure leaks from storage dams and water distribution networks are kept to a minimum and this can contribute to saving water.
According to data from the City of Cape Town measured on July 25, daily water uses stood at 786 million litres per day.
“The Greater Cape Town Water Fund, run initially by The Nature Conservancy, calculated that water lost to the Western Cape through invasive alien infestation amounts to 55 billion litres per year. Alien clearing programmes are essential to our future water security in the province,” Bredell said.
According to a report by the provincial Disaster Management handed over to the provincial cabinet, the province is experiencing below-normal rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures during the first half of its traditional rainfall season.
Should these conditions persist throughout the rainfall season, it could lead to water scarcity, the report said.
The South African Weather Service has also predicted a strong likelihood of continued below-normal rainfall although there is a possibility of a few strong cold fronts on the cards.
The Western Cape experiences its traditional rain season from May to August.