Critically low levels of water at the Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp in June this year. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Western Cape residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief as most of the major dams in the drought-ravaged province are well over the 50 percent mark, according to data released earlier this week.

After more than a year of stifling drought which saw the City of Cape Town implement Level 6B water restrictions, the recent rainfall in the province has brought dam storage levels up to approximately 50 percent of capacity.

This comes as a welcome relief for the province’s food-producing farms which have been hard hit by the water shortages over the past year. 

Last week, torrential rain caused flooding in large parts of Cape Town and people posted pictures of flooded roads and partially submerged cars on social media. This led to speculation that the crippling water restrictions may finally be a thing of the past.

While Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson indicated that the City was of the view that a relaxation of the restrictions was possible, the Department of Water and Sanitation said relaxing water restrictions would be reviewed only when the rainy season is over, or when dam levels reach at least 85%.

The latest storage data for the biggest dams in the Western Cape as recorded on July 7. Graphic: City of Cape Town

The weekly report below shows how the rains have positively impacted the dam storage levels across the province with the cumulative storage a massive 23 percent higher than the same period last year.

Weekly dam level report for the Western Cape on July 2. Graphic: City of Cape Town

Day Zero, the day when Cape Town's taps could run dry, has also been put off at least until 2020. Hopefully, with some more rain over the next two months, Capetonians will see a relaxation of the water restrictions and possibly even a decrease in the crippling water tariffs.