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

CAPE TOWN - All the dams in the Western Cape water supply system (WCWSS) are above 85% full, except the Theewaterkloof dam, the department of water and sanitation said on Tuesday. 

This follows good rains which have fallen in the parts of the province in recent weeks. Theewaterskloof, which is the largest dam in the system, is at 71.67%, compared to 45.22% at the same time last year.

“We are pleased that both the Clanwilliam Dam and Bulshoek Dam in the West Coast have reached 90% respectively,” said the provincial head of the department of water and sanitation, Rashid Khan in a statement.

The Olifants/Doorn Catchment was more or less the same volume of the previous year at 98.60% due to the quick recovery of the Clanwilliam Dam the previous season, according to the department.

Khan said that the major challenge was the recovery of the dam levels in the Gouritz Catchment. While his department was pleased with Gamka Dam, there were concerns about other areas in the Gouritz River Catchment. 

“The last three years have seen little to no rain within the Klein Karoo area. This catchment is at 21.61%, slightly higher than the previous year’s 18%,” he said. 

Gouritz River Catchment receives both winter and summer rainfall, and it is hoped that some summer rainfall would increase the dam levels within this low rainfall area. 

Rains are required to both Prinsrivier and Bellair to recharge the dam levels. Khan said dams are fuller than the last few years and using less means that the provincial water security was greatly enhanced.  

He added that the water restrictions as applied were to remain and as the Western Cape provincial head is directed to lift the water restrictions should the WCWSS recover to above 85% before the next decision date. 

“The department is thanking the creator for providing much-needed rainfalls which filled our dams. A special thanks to all the water users who are acting in a responsible manner in using water,” he added.

African News Agency (ANA)