Cape Town dam levels: the city’s water consumption woes continue

The City of Cape Town has issued its second dam level report for October, but little improvement was observed over the previous week.

Total dam storage in the City’s six largest dams, in addition to its eight small reservoirs, increased a mere 0.2% overall. Said storage level now stands at 37.8% (pdf).

The Theewaterskloof Dam remained at 28.3%, largely due to 4mm of rain which fell in the dam’s catchment area, the City notes.

Read more: Cape Town: calculate your daily water usage here

The Berg River Dam continued to see gains, and is now at 66.6% full — an increase of 1.6%. It’s now less than 7% shy of its October 2016 storage level.

Notable gains were also observed at Wemmershoek Dam, with an additional 1% capacity acquired. This is largely thanks to 20mm of October rainfall observed thus far.

Cape Town Dam Levels 9 October 2017

However, that’s where the good news ends.

Although the Steenbras Upper Dam remains at 100%, it did shed 0.2% of its stores over the previous week. Its Lower companion remains below the 50% full mark.

The Voëlvlei Dam also dipped by 0.1% over the previous week, even though 5mm of rain fell in its catchment area since 3 October.

Six out of the City’s eight minor dams listed in its report saw gains over the previous week.

The Western Cape Government has also updated its provincial dam levels chart, noting that a number of dams in the Karoo remain well below 20% full.

Cape Town’s water consumption remains high

The City of Cape Town has also observed a decrease in water consumption across the metropole. 607-million litres per day were used in the past week, marking a slight drop over the previous seven day period. However, this figure remains 107-million litres above the City of Cape Town’s target.

“Domestic users who permanently reside in Cape Town will remain the largest users,” added Xanthea Limberg, MayCo member for water services in a press release.

“Our experience shows that the local outflow of people over the festive season and the closure of some businesses and industry, such as the construction industry, mostly balances the inflow of local and foreign tourists.

“We will all have to do our utmost to ensure that we spread the message of saving water and the restrictions that we must all adhere to.”

The City has also requested tourism and accommodation businesses to add “contextual digital adverts to their website homepages and booking technology to drive awareness”.

“Water rationing” will also continue.

“Please note that normal supply could be disrupted in order to lower demand. This is part of the aggressive pressure reduction programmes in place which are set to be intensified,” the City concluded.

Andy Walker, former editor


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