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Cape Town State of the Dams: Gamka Dam in Beaufort-West Reaches 45%

This dam has been empty for two years. Levels look set to increase even further, given good rainfall in the mountain catchment areas. Get the latest update on Cape Town's dam levels.

Latest update: 10 June 2019 

The average dam level in the Western Cape has increased over the past week to reach a total of 34.9% (2018: 25.9). Some areas are better off than others. Dams supplying the City of Cape Town are at an average of 47.5% (2018: 31.5%), which is one of the more positive numbers for the province.

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, has announced that the Gamka dam in Beaufort-West stands at 45%.

“This dam has been empty for two years. The dam level looks set to increase given good rainfall in the mountain catchment areas. However, there remains great concern about the situation in the agriculture sector in the area. Many farms in the area have not received any rain yet.”

Bredell says the provincial department of Local Government is continuing with long-term water augmentation projects. These aim to provide longer-lasting and permanent solutions to the water-stricken areas in the Karoo regions of the Western Cape.

“One of the projects is the rehabilitation of the Soutkloof spring in Laingsburg. The area presents some concern due to a lack of rain in the catchment area. In addition, ongoing exploration work continues to the South-West side of Beaufort-West, to find an additional underground aquifer for the town. The department is also active in the Kannaland municipality assisting officials with drought-related management training.”


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

The outlook for more rain in the province for the rest of the week, and the winter months, continues to be positive. “However we continue to emphasize the need to conserve water and to use this precious resource responsibly,” Bredell says.

 

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

CAPE TOWN LEVEL 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS
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


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

10 JUNE 2019 CAPE TOWN MAJOR DAM LEVELS AT 48%
The latest update from the City of Cape Town shows that the total level of the major dams is at 48%, up 1.6% from last week's level, compared to dam levels of 31.4% at the same time last year.

Average daily water consumption is at 523 million litres per day, below the target of 650 Ml/d, showing that Capetonians are remaining water-conscious and continue to implement 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 34.93%

The combined level of the dams in the Western Cape as of 10 June 2019 is 34.93%, compared to 25.92% at the same time last year. 

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

47.51

45.78

31.51

BERG RIVER CATCHMENT

58.27

57.44

44.79

BREEDE RIVER CATCHMENT

31.10

29.08

20.37

GOURITZ RIVER CATCHMENT

24.46

24.60

20.26

OLIFANTS CAPE/DOORN RIVER CATCHMENT

12.73

12.78

22.40

WESTERN CAPE STATE OF DAMS

34.93

33.60

25.92

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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