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Western Cape dams continue to dry up

Last week's records show that nationally, most dam levels increased. But in the Western Cape, levels continue to drop.

Theewaterskloof Dam. Picture: Johnny Miller/Code for Africa.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - While the South African Weather Service has forecast more rain for other parts of the country this week, the Water and Sanitation Department says there's still a long way to go before dam levels reach normal capacity.

Last week's records show that nationally, most dam levels increased by just over 2%. But in the Western Cape, levels continue to drop.

The department is expected to release data on dam levels across the country on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says water restrictions remain in place.

“We will only be able to review water restrictions in place from May, when we’ll know exactly what the last part of the rainy season has for us.”

Tougher water restrictions for Cape Town will likely come into effect from next week, which forms part of a plan plan to force residents to save water.

Under level 3B restrictions, the watering of gardens, parks and other open spaces will only be allowed for an hour before 9am or after 6pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

From next week, officials will also conduct more door-to-door visits and issue fines to errant residents and inform locals on water saving tips.

The Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department says it’s deeply concerned at the dwindling dam levels.

The department's James Brent-Styan says, “We’re constantly monitoring the situation, some are better than others. Municipalities are already implementing additional measures in places where the need might be greatest. We’re not very happy and we’re concerned. It’s not a crisis yet.”

GAUTENG

The South African Weather Service forecaster Madimetja Thema says Gauteng residents can expect more rainfall from Wednesday.

According to last week's records, the Vaal River system, which consists of 14 dams and mainly services the Gauteng province, increased by 3.2 % to 61.7%.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)