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The Latest Water Levels + How The Province is Fighting For Our Better Water Future

Anton Bredell will be addressing the national minister regarding providing bulk water infrastructure to the Western Cape.

Latest update: 25 March 2019 

The average water level for all dams in the Western Cape currently stands at 38.6% (compared to 18.2% this time last year). Dams supplying the City of Cape Town stand at an average of 50.6% (compared to 21.8% this time last year).

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says that the biggest concern is for the Karoo region of the province that is still drought-stricken.


Berg River Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

The minister has called on the National Department of Water and Sanitation to deliver on its mandate to provide bulk water infrastructure to the Western Cape.

“We have noted that many of the Regional Bulk Water Infrastructure Grant allocations made to our municipalities by the national department and published in the Division of Revenue Act have been stopped because there is no money in the department. One example of this relates to a desalination plant in the Cederberg municipality. The plant cannot operate because a vital part of the project was never done. The national department had gazetted to transfer R22 million to co-fund the project. Two weeks ago, the municipality was informed that the funding will not flow in the current financial year. In the meantime, the municipality has already appointed the contractor and the work must go on. The provincial department of local government has had to step in and assist with co-funding the project for the municipality. This is money my department does not have, but has had to find at the expense of other projects.”


Steenbras Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

Bredell has pointed out that the province has been informed unofficially that the Clanwilliam dam wall project has in all likelihood also been delayed for at least another year.

“The national department is fiddling while Rome burns. We have been made promises over and over and yet the deeds do not follow. We must urge the department to take its responsibility seriously. I will be writing to the national minister to address these issues.”


Franschhoek Area, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

The City recently announced a slight relaxation in Level 3 water restrictions with regard to irrigation at home. You're now allowed to water your garden with municipal water, but only on specific days and times, using specific irrigation systems.

Our team brings you all the Cape Town water updates below: See the relaxed Level 3 water restrictions and the latest Cape Town and Western Cape dam levels.


Photo: Cape Town Gov: City Wemmershoek Dam–25 September 2018

You’ll find all the latest city and Western Cape dam levels, plus: info on Level 3 Water Restrictions in Cape Town below.

CAPE TOWN: NEW LEVEL 3 TARIFFS EXPLAINED
As of 1 December 2018, water restrictions have been lowered to Level 3, meaning that personal water can increase from 70 to 105 litres per person per day whether at home, work, school, gym or elsewhere. Here's what you'll be paying. 

Residential tariffs (ex VAT)
0–6 kL: Down 35% from R24,37/kL to R15.73/kL
6–10,5 kL: Down 60% from R39.59/kL to R22.38/kL
10–35 kL: Down 47% from R60.25/kL to R31.77/kL
Above 35 kL: Down 79% from R345/kL to R69.76/kL

Commercial and Industrial tariffs
Down 33% from R43.13/kL to R28.82/kL


Steenbras Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS RELAXED FOR IRRIGATION
Where previously you weren't allowed to water your garden with municipal water (hosepipes or sprinkler systems) at all, the City has relaxed this restriction as of 1 March 2019. You can now:

  • Water your garden using a dripper, drip line or soaker hose irrigation system on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays (before 9am and after 6pm only) for a maximum of one hour
  • Water with a sprinkler system or hosepipe fitted with a self-closing nozzle on Saturdays (before 9am and after 6pm only) for a maximum of one hour
  • Water with a watering can or bucket before 9am and after 6pm only for a maximum of one hour

HERE'S WHAT THE LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS MEAN FOR YOU
Level 3 restriction don’ts:
* Municipal water for irrigation only on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays before 9am and after 6pm, otherwise, no hosepipes or any sprinkler systems
* No fountains or water features
* No watering gardens within 48 hours of rainfall
* No washing or hosing down any hard surfaces or paved areas

LEVEL 3 WATER CAPE TOWN DOs
You can now:
* Top up or fill your swimming pool, only if you have a non-permeable solid pool cover; the recovery of backwash water, and the use of rainwater for pool topping up where possible
* Irrigate gardens with a bucket or watering can before 9am or after 6pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, for a maximum of one hour per day, per property
* Wash vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats using a bucket.

Idea for summer: Discover these awesome Cape Town tidal pools and natural rock pools

CAPE TOWN MAJOR DAM LEVELS AT 51.3%
The total level of the major dams is 51.3% as of 25 March 2019. This is compared to dam levels of 22.4% at the same time last year.

Average daily water consumption has risen to 610 million litres per day from 536 Ml/d (March 18), while this remains within the necessary Stage 3 water requirement Capetonians need to intensify their water-saving efforts to reduce daily consumption. 

See all Cape Town dam levels here:  

 


Theewaterskloof Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

WESTERN CAPE DAM LEVELS AT 38.65%
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape says: "We hope to see much more rainfall over the coming months for our dams, rivers and groundwater levels to recover from the devastating drought we have been battling over the past four years.”

The combined level of the dams in the Western Cape as of 25 March 2019 is 38.65%. 

See below: The Western Cape State Dams is the total of the combined storage of the Cape Town System Dams and the four catchment areas recorded below.

DAM

% FULL THIS WEEK

% FULL LAST WEEK

% FULL 2018

CAPE TOWN SYSTEM DAMS COMBINED

50.67

51.58

21.83

BERG RIVER CATCHMENT

64.14

65.16

35.18

BREEDE RIVER CATCHMENT

34.27

35.29

11.72

GOURITZ RIVER CATCHMENT

22.20

23.64

23.24

OLIFANTS CAPE/DOORN RIVER CATCHMENT

26.64

29.44

6.83

WESTERN CAPE STATE OF DAMS

38.65

39.86

18.25

WHERE WE COME FROM
Throughout 2018, reports said Cape Town could be the first major city in the world to run out of drinking water, with images of dry dams being beamed all over the world.

Capetonians have taken on the challenge to save water: Not taking baths; shortening showers; not flushing with potable water, and becoming more conscious of when to wash clothes or have a tap open. Those who could buy rainwater tanks while others educated their neighbours on water-conscious usage. The hospitality industry invested in water re-usage systems and desalination plants were installed.

As things improve it's important to also read about how Capetonians pulled together, and for tourists to know that they make up only 1% of the population at peak season, and should consider Cape Town their top destination of choice.


Berg River Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

THE VIDEO THAT GOT EVERYONE TALKING

At the end of June 2018, we decided to go and see the levels of the dams for ourselves. So we flew over three of Cape Town’s major dams. What we saw inspired our readers to share the news far and wide because the story of Capetonians pulling together needs to be shared.

The video and images of Cape Town from above were shot and edited by Red Bull photographer Craig Kolesky. The flight was courtesy of our partner Cape Town Helicopters.

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Power off again? Keep up to date with the latest in loadshedding in Cape Town.

Find out the innovative ways that Capetonians have been saving water. With the rising dam levels, we’ll be celebrating water for days to come. It’s summer, so have a look at these Cape Town surf spots and things to do in summer. Or check out our day tours for families.

PLUS: WHERE TO SWIM IN 2019
Discover these beaches around Cape Town, as well as awesome surf spots.

Check out the special, secluded and hidden tidal pools around Cape Town

And these beautiful natural rock pools of the Western Cape.

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Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, suburbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and add us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
March 2019
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