Dams across the Western Cape continue to see steady increases due to continued rainfall across the largest parts of the province.
The latest average dam level for the province is 71.8%. The City of Cape Town’s dams are currently on average 90.7% full, and this includes the Theewaterskloof dam that is at 87.7% – the highest recorded level since 2014.
Total capacity of dams supplying the Cape Town metro increased for the week of August 24-30, 2020, a 2.7% rise from the 88% of the previous week.
Mayco Member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg said water consumption for the same period decreased by nine million litres per day from an average of 633 million litres per day from the previous week to 642 million litres per day.
At the same time last year, dam levels were at 81.9%.
“Significant recent rainfall has pushed total rainfall for 2019/20 close to the long-term average and dams are close to full for the first time since 2013/2014. This will of course prompt serious consideration that current water restrictions be further eased following the end of the rainy season (October 31).
“However, residents should please keep in mind that the impact of climate change in subsequent years is still uncertain and that this will also be factored into the eventual decision around restrictions,” Limberg said.
Limberg also went on to address water tariffs, stating that a reduction in tariffs will be dependent on an increase in consumption.
“Currently, the City of Cape Town is selling approximately 30% less water than before the drought, but is facing additional costs that come with increasing our resilience. It is important that the City cover its costs to ensure that the maintenance and augmentation programmes can be carried out.
“Should the amount of water we are selling significantly increase this will be factored into the tariffs, but given the uncertain impact of climate change it may not be wise to actively encourage such an approach at this stage,” she said.
Anton Bredell, the MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, added that the winter season has been good to date and has done a lot to assist dams to recover.
“Groundwater levels across the province will also have been replenished somewhat by the ongoing rains we have seen. The snowfall across the provincial mountains will be sure to increase levels further over the weeks to come.”
Bredell continued to repeat call for consumers to use water responsibly and sparingly.