Water Wednesday: Cape Town dam levels remain critical

The devastating storm that hit Cape Town two weeks ago and claimed eight lives has not done much to alleviate the drought pressures experienced in the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town has warned all water users not to increase consumption as dam levels remain critically low and rainfall uncertainty is high. Dam storage levels were at 23,1% last week with the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not usable. Worryingly, consumption has again shot up and is 40 million litres per day above the target of 600 million litres per day.

Members of the public are advised not to relax their water-saving efforts. Since 6 June 2017, when the recent big storm made landfall, and including subsequent spells of rain, dam levels have only increased by about 3,7%. Clearly, the drought crisis continues as dam levels are critically lower than usual at the start of the winter.

Due to the severity of the drought, above-target consumption, as well as the unpredictability of climatic conditions, Level 4 water restrictions remain in place indefinitely over the long-term and could be intensified if warranted.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg advised that people continue to use less than 100 litres per person per day in total, whether at work, home, school or elsewhere.

Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 90%.

The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 21%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:


For a more in depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.


Caxton Central

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