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CT calls for more creative water consumption, dam levels fail to recover

While level 2 water restrictions have been implemented, it's emerged local dams are significantly less full.

FILE: The water level of the Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town dropped to around 30 percent in March 2016. It is the largest of five major dams supplying drinking water to the city. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is calling for more creative water consumption as dam levels across the Western Cape fail to recover.

Provincial government implemented level 2 water restrictions at the start of 2016.

The latest survey however reveals local dams are significantly less full than the same time last year.

Despite some rain over the last few weeks, the Western Cape remains a water-scarce province amid an ongoing nation-wide drought.

The city's Farouk Robertson says, "Last Monday, the water levels for the dams was at 30 percent - that is much lower than the levels were this time last year."

Robertson has called on households, farms and industries to work together and to start considering rain harvesting.

"Everyone has to work together and try to minimise their water consumption, and that means being very creative about their application of water."

As far as filling the dams go, the South African Weather Service says some showers can be expected across the province by Wednesday afternoon, through to Thursday morning.

WATCH: FACING A DRY FUTURE: HOW BAD IS THE WATER CRISIS REALLY?

IFRC PROMISES $110M FOR DROUGHT RELIEF

This month, the International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) pledged $110 million to a new initiative to help drought-stricken southern African countries.

In South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, last year's poor rains have been followed by an El Nino-driven drought that has delayed planting and stunted crops.

An estimated 31.6 million people across the region are struggling to feed themselves, and the figure is expected to rise to more than 49 million by the end of the year, the IFRC said in a statement.

The organisation aims to help a million people over the next five years with emergency food distribution, training in irrigation schemes and new farming practices.

South Africa said its 2015 winter wheat crop had fallen 18 percent from the previous year, and it would have to import around 60 percent of its needs in this marketing year.

Additional information by Reuters

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