Dam levels now critical

2017-05-15 16:52
Dredging operations have started at the Voëlvlei Dam.

Dredging operations have started at the Voëlvlei Dam. (Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape )

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As dam levels continue to drop, the City of Cape Town is calling on residents to cut non-essential municipal water use immediately.

According to a statement released on Monday (15 May), the City’s mayoral committee will also be is recommending the  implementation of Level 4 water restrictions tomorrow (Tuesday 16 May). 

According to the most recent statistics, dam levels are now at 21.2% (storage levels), which is 0.8% down from a week ago. 
With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being usable, dam levels are effectively at 11.2%. 

The City says the latest consumption has jumped up again to 718 million litres, which is 118 million litres over the consumption target of 600 million litres. 

Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, Xanthea Limberg, says residents are only allowed to use a bit of water for drinking, cooking and washing.

“We are reaching a critical point in this drought crisis. Although we continue to work non-stop to force consumption down, overall use remains catastrophically high. This is not a request. We have seen huge saving-efforts, but the unseasonably hot autumn is exacerbating the situation and we must all do more.”

She says  dredging operations have started at the Voëlvlei Dam to prepare for low-level extraction of water. The City is engaging with the national water and sanitation department  as a matter of urgency to request dredging operations at Theewaterskloof Dam too. 
“The City continues with its pressure reduction programmes across the metro which forcibly reduces supply at a given time. Other emergency interventions are under way, and if required, the City will start to implement a lifeline supply of water across the metro. In a severe drought such as what we are dealing with, the only real immediate intervention is to cut usage. Over this coming week, we must bring consumption down with 100 million litres of water per day. The City also warns businesses to start implementing contingency and alternative water measures in their own operations,” she says. 


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