This video of Cape Town’s dams shows just how bad the water crisis really is

cape town dam levels nicred youtube

Cape Town is running out of water, there’s no denying that fact. This week, the City of Cape Town announced that dam levels are just over 35%, of which around 25% is usable.

It sounds incredibly dire, and that’s largely because it is. But words and numbers scantly do justice to the problem.

Somerset West Drone pilot NicRed, noted this and took to the skies above four of the city’s six largest dams — Steenbras Upper, Voelvlei , the Berg River and Theewaterskloof — to capture footage of the leaking water stores.

“I have been collecting this footage over the last 20 days so that I could package it in a short and sweet eye opener,” he explains in the video description.

Cape Town is running out of water, and this drone video shows just how troubled the city is

Interestingly, both Steenbras and Voelvlei actually contain more water at present than the same period in 2016. The biggest problem is Theewaterskloof’s levels. As the City’s most important dam, it’s down more than 15% on 2016’s levels.

Wemmershoek is also down more than 20% on last year’s levels.

Here are the dams’ current levels (as of 13 February 2017), including Wemmershoek and Steenbras Lower:

Steenbras Upper – 42.1%
Steenbras Lower – 42.1%
Voelvlei – 37.6%
Berg River – 45.5%
Theewaterskloof – 31.4%
Wemmershoek – 36.3%

With that in mind, have a look at the footage below.

Also, please, please, be water-wise South Africa.

Andy Walker, former editor


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