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NEW: Hot Weather Water-Level Decline – What You Can Do

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NEW: Hot Weather Water-Level Decline – What You Can Do

Heat and windy conditions contribute to a 1% decline in Cape Town's water supply, urging Capetonians to keep up the water saving efforts 

Latest update: 19 November 2018

Hot weather and high winds have this week contributed to a 1% drop in Cape Town water levels. This echoed at the provincial level as the Western Cape as a whole, too, experienced a 1% drop in combined dam levels.

Cape Town dam levels dropped from 73.4% to 72.4% this week, with only two dams, the Berg River and Voëlvlei dams, still in excess of 90% full – see the full dam levels report below. The city's average water consumption also increased slightly from 549 million litres per day last week to 558 million daily now. (Where the target usage is 500 million litres per day.)

WESTERN CAPE WATER: WHAT YOU CAN DO
Summer is here and low rainfall is the reality we're faced with. Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape says that it's to be expected that water levels start dropping after the end of the winter rainfall period. And now the responsibility rests with us as citizens to keep our water usage in check.

“We are seeing increased temperatures and with that increased evaporation and demand. This is sure to increase even further in the coming months so we continue to urge consumers to use water as sparingly as possible.”

Cape Town's current 72.4% water level is still nearly double what it was at the same time in 2017 (36.3%). And, if that serves to reminds us of anything, it's that we can make an amazing and positive difference just by each and every one of us watching our own consumption every day.

Idea: Instead of taking two showers every day in this heat, rather have a look at these awesome Cape Town tidal pools and natural rock pools


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

NEW LEVEL 5 TARIFFS EXPLAINED
As of 1 October, water restrictions have been lowered to Level 5, meaning that personal water can increase from 50 to 70 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 26,6% from R28,90/kL to R21,19/kL
6–10,5 kL: Down 25% from R46/kL to R34,43/kL
10–35 kL: Down 56% from R120,27/kL to R52,39/kL
Above 35 kL: Down 70% from R1 000/kL to R300/kL

Commercial and Industrial tariffs
Down 18% from R45,75/kL to R37,50/kL


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

HERE'S WHAT THE LEVEL 5 RESTRICTIONS MEAN FOR YOU
Level 5 restriction don’ts:
* No watering/irrigation with municipal water. Some exceptions may apply.
* No topping up (manual or automatic) of swimming pools with municipal drinking water.
* No washing of vehicles, including cars, taxis, trailers, caravans or boats with municipal drinking water.
* No washing or hosing down of hard surfaces with municipal water.
* No use of municipal drinking water for ornamental fountains or water features.
* All private swimming pools must be fitted with a cover.
* The use of any portable or temporary play pools is prohibited.
* Should borehole/wellpoint water be used for outdoor purposes, it should only be done for a maximum of one hour on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 and after 18:00.
* The operation of spray parks is prohibited.
* No new landscaping or sports fields may be established except if irrigated only with non-drinking water.


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

CAPE TOWN MAJOR DAM LEVELS AT 72.4%
The total level of the major dams as of 19 November 2018 is 72.4% full. Last week the dams were 73.4% full and 36.3% full in 2017.  


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

WESTERN CAPE DAM LEVELS AT 61.91%
The combined level of the dams as of 19 November 2018 is 61.91% full compared to 62.99% the previous week. Last year this time, the average level for the province was 34.67%. 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 2017

CAPE TOWN SYSTEM DAMS COMBINED

71.89

72.95

35.89

BERG RIVER CATCHMENT

90.5

91.99

50.71

BREEDE RIVER CATCHMENT

58.58

59.56

31.77

GOURITZ RIVER CATCHMENT

17.53

18.24

21.06

OLIFANTS CAPE/DOORN RIVER CATCHMENT

89.55

92.42

35.18

WESTERN CAPE STATE OF DAMS

61.91

62.99

34.67

WHERE WE COME FROM
For months 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, we decided to 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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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.

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