Cape Town dam levels have more than doubled in a year

water cape town dam linus nylund unsplash

If you’ve turned your head to the sky this past week, you may have noticed something: it hasn’t rained. At all.

Since 2 July 2018, the city’s surrounds haven’t seen a drop of the wet stuff, and that’s pretty concerning. For one, some of the key catchment areas could miss their long-term rainfall average for July.

But, with that said, dam levels have still increased steadily over the previous week.

The latest figures by the City of Cape Town shows an increase of 5% since 2 July 2018. The dams are now holding 53.3% of their total storage.

We’re also just 0.1% shy of July 2015’s total storage figure, and the current levels are more than double that of those registered in 2017.

Let’s look at the latest levels dam by dam.

Cape Town’s dam levels are now just 0.1% shy of July 2015’s total, but more than double that registered in July 2017

The largest reservoir in the system, the Theewaterskloof Dam, is now 39% full, up by 5.3% over the previous week. That’s quite the increase too, and worth some 25.4-billion litres.

The Voëlvlei Dam is the biggest gainer this week, jumping by 9.4% in just seven days. It’s now 51.4% full, holding more water at present than it did in July 2015.

The Berg River continues its upward tend, now tipping the scales at 83.1% full. It’s up by 4.4% over the week prior.

Its Franschhoek neighbour, the Wemmershoek Dam, holds 83.3% of its total storage, gaining 4.3% over the previous week.

And finally, the Steenbras Lower Dam added to its stores, gaining 3.4%. It’s now 55.5% full. The Upper Dam on the other side of the wall, dipped from 101.7% full last week, to 99.8% this.

There is some bad news.

As temperatures rose across Cape Town this past week, so has water consumption. After hitting record lows at the end of June, consumption has once again spiked to 510-million litres per day. That’s an increase of some 30-million litres per day.

More rainfall is forecast for Thursday and Friday across Cape Town, as another cold front is set to strike the region.

Feature image: Linus Nylund via Unsplash

Andy Walker, former editor


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