Water Wednesday: World Water Week highlights global water crisis

This week is World Water Week and the Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane spoke at the Africa Focus Session about the progress they were making in ensuring water access to everyone amongst other pressing concerns like the drought. It was announced that the City of Cape Town will receive R20.8 million for relief measures, Bitou municipality will receive R10.9 million and Theewaterskloof will get R3.1 million.

As part of Water Week, World Wild Life released some shocking truths around fresh water consumption globally. Of all the water on Earth, less than 1% is fresh and available to supply human demands for food, energy, and everyday life. Feeding an additional two billion people by 2050 will require a 15% increase in water withdrawals, and the water required to produce energy is expected to increase by more than 85%. Increased demand combined with climate change will leave two-thirds of the planet living in water-stressed regions by 2050.

Minister Mokonyane has emphasized the need to move beyond one source of water and take advantage of other components that can be developed such as desalination.

Meanwhile, Capetonians are in trouble due to the collective consumption being at 599 million litres of water per day. This is 99 million litres above the target of 500 million litres. The Western Cape dam levels are at 34.2% with useable water at 24.2% so it’s vital for the city to bring down consumption otherwise it will be a tougher summer.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg said that they have to introduce supply augmentation schemes, “Various processes must be finalised pertaining to the procurement. We are doing everything that we can to ensure that Cape Town survives the drought, but that we also adapt so that we can thrive irrespective of a drought as part of our New Normal approach to the unpredictability of climatic conditions.”

The City has reminded residents to reduce water flow on their property through adjusting their private stopcocks or water control taps. Here is a video explaining how:


Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is still at 88%, the same as last week. The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 33%.

Here are the latest dam percentages from different provinces 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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