Western Cape dams now only 31% full - MEC

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The Lowe Steenbras Dam last year. (File, Netwerk24)
The Lowe Steenbras Dam last year. (File, Netwerk24)

Cape Town - Dam levels across the Western Cape have fallen to an average of 31%, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said on Monday.

Dams stood at 33.29 % on February 19.

In a statement, Bredell said the province's main strategy to avoid running out of water remained decreasing consumption.  

"The biggest short-term opportunities in response to the immediate water crisis currently lie in non-revenue water reduction, private reuse and recycling, and water conservation," he said.

Dams supplying water to the City of Cape Town are roughly 10% lower this year - at 32.43% - compared to 40.31% in 2016. The Berg River, Gouritz River and Olifants River catchments recorded the same or slightly higher water levels.

Meanwhile, the Shoprite Group has heeded the City's call to reduce water consumption.

No inflatable pool sales

"[Efforts to save water include] the suspension of garden irrigation and truck washing across all of its facilities in the province, as well as the usage of bricks in all toilet cisterns to save water," the retailer said in a statement.

"An audit of all taps in stores has been undertaken, with self-closing taps being installed where problems have been identified."

Shoprite said it had also indefinitely suspended the sale of inflatable and portable swimming pools.

"The group has also reached out to all of its suppliers to join forces with it on practical solutions to sustainable water consumption," it said.

The City of Cape Town introduced Level 3B water restrictions in January, severely reducing the use of potable water for gardening.

Mayor Patricia de Lille is expected to reveal the City's medium and long-term plans to avoid running out of water at press briefing on Tuesday.

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