Theewaterskloof Dam. File photo: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency (ANA).

CAPE TOWN - Dams in the Western Cape have shown a steady increase over the last few weeks since winter started in earnest, the department of water and sanitation (DWS) said on Monday.

“Although the rainfall started late, there has been constant inflows into the dams on the far western and north-western boundaries of the province. 

"Most state-owned dams in the Western Cape are currently on average 64.55 percent full, which is a 12% increase on last year," said DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS), which comprises of the six largest dams, has recorded a remarkable improvement as it has reached 80% capacity, compared to 58.44% at the same time last year.

Ratau said the department was, however, still concerned about the very slow recovery of dam levels in the Breede-Gouritz water management area. 

“The last four years have seen little to no rain within the Klein Karoo, Greater Karoo, Central Breede River and Southern Cape areas. Significant rainfall in these areas last occurred in 2011,” he said.  

According to the department, the lower than average rainfall over the last eight years, has not only contributed to the low dam levels, but has also significantly impacted on the declining groundwater levels and recharge within the Greater and Klein Karoo areas. 

“The fact that our dams are presently healthier than previous seasons provides an ideal opportunity to chart a way ahead with much more vigor on the water for equity front,” Ratau said.

African News Agency (ANA)