NASA loop shows the ever-shrinking Theewaterskloof Dam from space

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, has today published a GIF showing the desiccation of Cape Town’s largest dam — the Theewaterskloof.

At the time of writing, the dam — which usually supplies Cape Town with more than half of its surface water — is just 13.3% full. But this wasn’t the case in 2014.

Within four years, the reservoir lost more than three-quarters of its reserves, plummeting from a peak of 89.5%. That’s a loss of some 365-billion litres of water.

“The animated image [below] shows how dramatically Theewaterskloof has been depleted between January 2014 and January 2018,” NASA explains.

“The extent of the reservoir is shown with blue; non-water areas have been masked with gray in order to make it easier to distinguish how the reservoir has changed.”

cape town theewaterskloof dam nasa

NASA last covered the Western Cape water crisis in October 2017, back when the Theewaterskloof Dam was still at 27%.

How Capetonians must wish the dam was as full now.

Feature image: NASA Earth Observatory

Andy Walker, former editor


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