Cape Town’s dam levels higher than this time last year

Big Six at 24% compared to 19.8% in the same week in 2017

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Photo of Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape on 24 April 2018.
Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape on 24 April 2018. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

In the last couple of weeks the amount of water in the dams supplying Cape Town has overtaken the 2017 levels.

The City of Cape Town’s Water Dashboard shows that as of 28 May the dam levels are at 24% versus 19.8% in the same week in 2017. Also, the dam levels rose nearly three percentage points from last week’s 21.1%. This is a consequence of the recent rain and Capetonians using much less water. Last week the city used a mere 505 million litres of water per day. Compare this to last year, when on 29 May the City said, “Disappointingly, consumption remains at 666 million litres [daily], which is above the consumption target of 600 million litres.”

The dam levels on 28 May 2018 versus the same week in 2017 are:

  • Berg River: 43.3% vs 31%
  • Steenbras Lower: 33.7% vs 23.8%
  • Steenbras Upper: 60% vs 56.7%
  • Theewaterskloof: 14.9% vs 13.8%
  • Voëlvlei: 16.9% vs 14.6%
  • Wemmershoek: 50.6% vs 36.1%

It is of course vital that Capetonians continue to use water frugally so that the dams can fill up and the risk of Day Zero can be avoided for at least a couple of years.

TOPICS:  Cape Town water crisis

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Dear Editor

So, as a poor little scientist, my mind is boggling slightly. If the dam levels were lower last year this time and the usage levels were higher, why wasn't there all the panic before last year?

Surely we should have had some action in 2016 already? Or is it that the Israeli options for desalination were still being finalised? Methinks that there is something sinister going on here... or has already been proven?

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