Cape Town dams: the Steenbras duo stem the Day Zero tide

Steenbras dam 27 April 2017 city of cape town Day Zero

Cape Town’s dams are this week 0.4% worse off than last, according to the latest dam level report published by the City.

Data taken from the first week of March suggests that Cape Town now has just 23.6% of its surface storage available for use, or around 211 000 megalitres. That’s enough to last the city until 15 July — the new date for Day Zero.

Water consumption also climbed slightly over the previous week. On average 531-million litres per day was drawn from the 14 dams serving Cape Town. 495-million of those litres were siphoned from the Big Six dams. But remarkably, agricultural used just 1% of the latter amount, down from 12% in the previous report.

The City of Cape Town (89%) and surrounding urban areas (10%) used the remainder.

Graph: Data sourced from the City of Cape Town

In spite of this, the city’s total dam levels continue to drop more slowly than in previous months.

The Theewaterskloof Dam is now 10.9% full, dropping by just 0.2% over the previous week. The Voëlvlei saw a decline of 0.3%, down from 15.9% a week earlier. And the Berg River Dam remains 50.5% full, but saw a drop of 1.6% this week — the largest decrease recorded of any of the Cape’s reservoirs this week.

The Wemmershoek Dam also dropped by 1.5% this week, down from 45.8%.

But the Steenbras duo saw more water within their walls this week. The larger Lower dam is now 38.1% full, gaining 1.3% in total. The Steenbras Upper Dam is now 92.2% full, gaining more than 10% within the past three weeks.

Feature image: City of Cape Town

Andy Walker, former editor


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