Cape Town dam report: surface storage dips below 200 000 ML

city of cape town water collection points day zero

Cape Town has just reached another notable #DayZero milestone: total surface storage within its six largest dams has now dipped below the 200 000 ML mark for the first time this year.

As of Tuesday 27 March 2018, the combined dam level stood at 22.2%, down by 0.5% the previous week. In raw numbers, the City suggests that just 199 095 ML (or 199-billion litres) remain.

Theoretically, Cape Town’s six largest dams can store slightly less than 900 000 ML when full.

Dams lose storage as March remains dry

The Theewaterskloof Dam edges ever close to the 10% mark, and is now just 0.6% above that waterline. The Voëlvlei Dam is also down this week, falling by 0.3% to 14.5%.

The Berg River Dam dropped 1.7% to 46%, but still remains well above its 2017 and 2016’s levels.

And as for the smaller three of Cape Town’s big six dams, the Wemmershoek dipped just 0.1% (to 43.8%), the Steenbras Lower lost 1.5% (to 38.1%) and the Steenbras Upper fell by 3.1% (to 85%) over the previous week.

While water consumption from Cape Town’s 14 reservoirs last week peaked at 565-million litres per day, it has since dropped to 523-million litres per day.

Total consumption from the aforementioned dams was 501-million litres per day. The City of Cape Town continues to be the biggest water user, claiming 88% of that share, while agriculture is now using just 2%.

Additionally, all areas monitored by the City have not met their long-term average rainfall figures for March, with the likes of the Theewaterskloof falling some 20mm short. This even after the past weekend’s rainfall.

Feature image: City of Cape Town

Andy Walker
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