Cape Town dams in much better shape in January 2020 than 2018

theewaterskloof dam cape town dams stock

We may be in the height of the dry season in Cape Town but you probably wouldn’t have guessed by looking at the dam levels alone.

According to the City of Cape Town’s latest report, the city’s reservoirs were 71.9% full as of 27 January — that’s an increase of 0.2% over the previous week.

The reason? The Theewaterskloof Dam.

In 2018, the city’s largest reservoir was just 13.5%. As of 27 January 2020, its 65.4% full, an increase of 1.8% over the previous week.

All five of the city’s other large dams lost water over the past week.

The catchment area has also seen more than five times the amount of rain it usually experiences in January, according to City data.

108.7mm fell as of 26 January compared to the long-term average of 21.8mm is experienced in the region.

Remarkably, the dam level increase also comes after the heaviest water usage week in more than a year.

Some 742-million litres were drawn from the dams each day last week.

That said, Cape Town’s definitely in a better shape in 2020 than it was in the previous four years.

The dams hold nearly three times as much water as they did in 2018 — the middle of the drought.

Feature image: the Theewaterskloof Dam from the air, August 2018, by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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