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LISTEN: Little Rainfall Slows Down Recovery of Cape Town's Dams

Average water consumption is up from 519 million litres per day from 505 million per day.

Latest update: 13 August 2018

Dam levels have improved slightly more than last week’s recovery, by 1,8,% to 58,8% of storage capacity.

"We are in a much-strengthened position currently with consumption continuing to hover near the 500 million litre mark, as opposed to this time last year where we were consuming 608 million litres per day. In addition, dam levels this time last year were at 31,9% of storage capacity. However, we need to ensure that we all continue our water-saving efforts, especially in light of the low rainfall received over the last few weeks. We need to protect the water in our dams and ensure that we continue to build a buffer for the hot summer months ahead," said the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson.

CITY ISSUES MESSAGE THAT RESIDENTS SHOULD CONTINUE SAVING WATER

WESTERN CAPE MAJOR DAM STATISTICS

Theewaterskloof dam – 43% full this week (2017: 23%. Last week: 42%)

Voëlvlei dam – 63% full this week (2017: 23%. Last week: 60%)

Bergriver Dam 88% full this week (2017: 48%. Last week: 87%).

Clanwilliam Dam 100%. (2017: 30%. Last week: 99%) 

CURRENT CAPE TOWN DAM SYSTEM LEVELS

MAJOR DAMS

CAPACITY

(ML)

2018

(13 AUG)

%

2017


%

2016


%

2015


%

2014


%

BERG RIVER

130 010

88.3

44.7

62.0

83.5

100.9

STEENBRAS LOWER

33 517

59.1

29.4

63.3

79.7

101.2

STEENBRAS UPPER

31 767

101.3

87.4

100.3

102.5

100.6

THEEWATERSKLOOF

480 188

43.5

22.8

48.9

70.8

103.1

VOELVLEI

164 095

62.9

21.9

53.6

48.3

100.6

WEMMERSHOEK

58 644

83.3

37.8

68.7

68.7

99.8

TOTAL STORED

898 221

511 432

263 049

496 582

627 229

915 698

% STORAGE

 

58.8%

29.3

55.3

69.8

101.9

The Western Cape system is made up of the Cape Town system of dams (Berg River, Steenbras Lower, Steenbras Upper, Theewaterskloof, Voelvlei and Wemmershoek) and the catchment areas.

Theewaterskloof Dam. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

The dams feeding the City of Cape Town are 58.8% full. 

CURRENT CAPE TOWN DAM SYSTEM LEVELS 

As of 13 August 2018, the combined level of the six major dams is 58.8% full compared to 56.9% the previous week, and 29.3% in 2017 and 55.3% in 2016. This is a slight increase of 1.8%, which the metro attributes to less rain. Residents are still encouraged to save water.


Steenbras Dam. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

 


Theewaterskloof Dam. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

WHERE WE COME FROM
For over six 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, bought rainwater tanks, and others educated their neighbours on water-conscious usage. The hospitality industry invested in water re-usage systems and desalination plants were installed.

Things are looking up. 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. 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 damns. 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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Interested in attending a dialogue on the state of the news landscape? Join the Daily Maverick's media gathering. With the rising dam levels, we’ll be celebrating water for days to come. It’s winter, so you can start by visiting these Heated Pools and hot springs or finding out more about Cape Town’s underground tunnels, a place of sweet water.

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