Western Cape dam levels still dire

Cape Town - Water levels in Western Cape dams are showing slight improvements at an average 35.2% full, but the situation is still dire.

This time last year, dams were 61% full.

Anton Bredell, the MEC of local government, environmental affairs and development planning in the Western Cape said the province remains in the grip of the worst drought in decades, with dams in densely populated Cape Town at only 36.8% full.

"We have been actively managing the situation – in some areas – since 2010 when the first restrictions were implemented. Over the past two years matters have been escalating and currently we see dams at record low levels for this time of the year, after our usual winter rainfall."

The provincial department of local government intends implementing more stringent water restrictions, such as those currently placed on the City of Cape Town, in other parts of the Western Cape.

Assessments of various municipalities' water saving measures are almost complete and further restrictions could be imposed on them if necessary, he said.

Theewaterskloof Dam is currently at 28% (2016: 51%); Voëlvlei Dam is at 27% (2016: 66%) and Clanwilliam Dam 39.8% (2016: 100%). Brandvlei Dam is 32% (2016: 53%).

The province is rolling out an almost R300m plan to make sure there is never no water - known as "day zero" - and the City of Cape Town is in the process of tapping aquifers and building desalination plants to bring another 500 million litres into the system.

In Cape Town, residents have been asked to bring their total collective water consumption down to 500 million litres per day.

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