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City of CPT declares local disaster as dam levels drop

Water users’ daily water consumption has decreased to 783 million litres, but it's still not enough.

FILE: Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town is the largest of five major dams supplying drinking water to the city. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has declared a local disaster as it tries to deal with the drought.

Levels at the city’s feeder dams have now dropped to 31.5%.

An image showing dam level for the week of 6 March.

Water users’ daily water consumption has decreased to 783 million litres, but it's still not enough.

The municipality's Xanthea Limberg says, “At the current drawdown of dams we could be looking at approximately 113 days of usable water left. It must be noted that consumption has broken through the 800ml barrier for the first time. At the same time this declaration is not an excuse for our residence not to carry on reducing consumption.”

A graph showing levels of water in major dams from 2013 to 6 March.

FRESH WATER DEMAND WILL EXCEED SUPPLY

The Western Cape government says the province could run out of fresh water in dams by 2019 if water resources are not managed properly.

Government has predicted fresh water demand will exceed supply, due to population growth and limited water resources.

Experts such as those at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) say the province will survive the current dry season, but they warn government needs to start implementing long-term solutions to increase supply before the situation reaches a critical level.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)