City welcomes good rains

The City of Cape Town says it is encouraged that dam levels have improved by 3,9%, rising to 65,9% of storage capacity since last week.

Water restrictions and associated tariffs remain in place, the City said. However, it does advocate for a conservative relaxation of the restriction levels, which would pave the way for the associated relaxation of the restriction tariffs.

The average water consumption for the past week was 535 million litres per day, which is an increase from last week’s consumption of 513 million litres per day.

The City says it is very encouraged to see dam levels rise above 65% after significant late-winter rainfall.

It is hoped that this latest rain could provide sufficient motivation for finally easing the water restrictions.

This decision is currently being considered by the National Department of Water and Sanitation.

Any relaxation of restrictions will at first be conservative.

“We cannot return to a business-as-usual attitude to water without risking water security in the years to come,” says Ian Neilson, Deputy Mayor of Cape Town. “The rainfall over the past few weeks, combined with continued saving efforts by the vast majority of residents, has seen dams fill to levels the City hasn’t seen in years.”

He said the city has managed to steer itself away from disaster, but must now start considering how best to manage its recovery going forward.

“Although much work is planned over the next few years to augment the City’s water supply and continue to create awareness about water conservation, we must remember that we live in a region with a semi-arid climate,” Neilson said. “At the moment we will still rely on our dams to provide the majority of our water. Given the unpredictable nature of our rainfall, it is imperative that we diversify our supply for the future, and entrench the water-saving mind-set we have cultivated over the past year.”