Another rise in dam levels

Dam levels have improved slightly, passing the 60% mark for the first time since 2016.

Over the last week, storage dam levels rose by 1,3% to 60,1% of their storage capacity, the City of Cape Town said this week.

The average water consumption for the past week rose from 519 million to 527 million litres per day.

The City thanked its water users for continuing to use as little water as possible in an effort to preserve the water in its storage dams.

This effort is helping to build a buffer against the summer months ahead, it said. “This severe drought has an estimated return period of 311 years, also known as a recurrence interval,” said deputy mayor Ian Neilson.

“We should not take lightly what this City and its residents have managed to do to get through it, but the effects of the crisis will not disappear overnight. Thank you to our water users for all the effort and sacrifices that have been made.”

Neilson said dams will take time to recover, especially since rainfall has been very low in July and August. “We need to ensure that we protect the water that we have for the summer months ahead,” he said.

“However, rainfall for July and August remains drastically lower than the long-term average.”

Water restrictions and the associated tariffs are also helping to preserve the dam levels. Neilson added that the national Department of Water and Sanitation will soon meet with stakeholders to assess the winter rainfall situation.

“Given the low rainfall, it is believed that the national government will maintain a conservative assessment and the current water restrictions and associated tariffs will thus continue to remain in place until the appropriate time,” he concluded.