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Good News: Very Small Drop in Dam Levels

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Good News: Very Small Drop in Dam Levels

The latest Western Cape and Cape Town dam water levels released today indicate that dam levels have remained more or less steady since last week, decreasing only 0.1%

Latest update: 18 March 2019

Cape Town's dam levels are holding up well with today's report (Monday 18 March 2019) recording only a 0.1% decrease in levels from last week (Monday 11 March 2019). This means we are in a much stronger position than this time last year, when the dam levels were only 22.3%. 

Current dam levels (51.58%) have held more or less steady over the past two weeks, partly due to the rainfall that has occurred over the past 10 days in several regions and a reduction in daily water consumption, see figures lower down.


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

Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape Anton Bredell says the water situation across the Western Cape is satisfactory and markedly better than it was last year at this time.

“Last year the province saw the average dam level for the entire province, drop to around 16% before we started getting enough rain to make a real difference. Currently, we are at 39.8% and heading to our usual winter rainfall period. 

"However, it is still much too soon to start thinking the ongoing drought still afflicting large parts of the province is over," cautions Bredell. 


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

One highlight has been the improvement in the Gouritz River catchment area where average dam levels have seen an increase  to 23.6% following recent rainfall in the region. 

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.


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

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 52.1%
The total level of the major dams is 52.1% as at 18 March 2019. This is compared to dam levels of 22.7% at the same time last year. Average daily water consumption has dropped from 605 million litres per day to just 536 Ml/d (well within the necessary Stage 3 water requirement), thanks to good rainfall over the past 10 days and Capetonians's ongoing water-saving efforts. 

See all Cape Town dam levels here:  


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

WESTERN CAPE DAM LEVELS AT 39.86%
Early winter rainfall throughout the Western Cape region has one positive effect. The Gouritz River catchment area, which covers the bulk of the drought-stricken Karoo region, has seen an increase in average dam levels for the first time this year

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 18 March 2019 is 39.86%. 

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

51.58

51.63

22.34

BERG RIVER CATCHMENT

65.16

65.70

36.27

BREEDE RIVER CATCHMENT

35.29

35.67

12.34

GOURITZ RIVER CATCHMENT

23.64

19.35

23.95

OLIFANTS CAPE/DOORN RIVER CATCHMENT

29.44

32.23

7.31

WESTERN CAPE STATE OF DAMS

39.86

40.38

18.98

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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