Cape Town dam levels increase, water rationing pays off

theewaterskloof dam cape town sa venues flickr

Cape Town: there’s some excellent news regarding the city’s current water situation. Not only are levels up this week, but consumption has also decreased according to the City of Cape Town’s latest dam report.

Total storage is up from 37.4% last week to 38.5% this week — an increase of 1.1% (pdf).

Note: find last week’s Memeburn water crisis report here

Looking at individual dams, the Berg River Dam remains the top performer. It added 1.5% to its coffers, and now stands at 68.1% full. It’s now less than 6% off its 2016 levels.

Both Steenbras dams saw an increase. Steenbras Lower is up a remarkable 8.6% to 52.8% while the Upper Dam is now 101.4% full.

The furthest dams from Cape Town — Voëlvlei and Wemmershoek — also saw gains. Both dams added 1.3% to their overall levels, with the former now standing at 27.9% and the latter at 47.6%.

cape town dam levels 23 october

The Theewaterskloof Dam saw the smallest increase, filling an additional 0.3% of its total capacity.

In terms of total capacity, dams this week boast an additional 9.7-billion litres over the previous week. But with that said, the current storage levels of all six large dams would fill just three-quarters of the Theewaterskloof Dam’s total theoretical storage.

Minor dams — which account for around 0.4% of Cape Town’s total water storage — saw a mixtures of losses and gains. Three of Table Mountain’s five dams saw gains, while Simon’s Town’s Lewis Gay Dam saw the largest drop.

October 2017’s rainfall statistics also makes for interesting and notably positive reading. Wynberg has bested its long-term rainfall average for the month by 1.4mm, topping 67.3mm. Blackheath is also just 1.6mm off its long-term average too.

Other areas across Cape Town — bar Theewaterskloof — have received more than half its long-term rainfall averages this month.

While the situation remains dire, it’s clear that Cape Town has reduced its water consumption.

The City noted a drop in water consumption by 15-million litres per day over the previous week, and now stands at 585-million litres per day. Notably, that’s still well off the City’s stringent target of 500-million.

Feature image: SA Venues via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker
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