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Authorities in Western Cape working to avoid taps from running dry

The South African Weather Service’s Cobus Olivier says their predictions have been limited.

Capetonians are getting creative when it comes to saving water. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Authorities in the Western Cape are working to avoid taps from running dry as the province continues to struggle through a drought.

Water shortages have seen six areas, including Cape Town, being declared local disasters.

Several municipalities are enforcing tight restrictions as provincial dams dropped below 19% this week.

Rain has been forecast for Cape Town this weekend but the long-term rainfall forecast for this winter is still unclear.

The South African Weather Service’s Cobus Olivier says their predictions have been limited.

“In summer is not as limited but for the winter because of the climate systems that actually influence the rainfall, they are not predictable by the global models, those areas really suffer. Summer is not that much of a bigger problem but winter is.”

Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says they are looking at various options to assist municipalities.

“In the ultimate, it is for the good of everyone if we’re able to secure water for any industry that needs, and that’s why if we do not have water there will be obviously huge impact, not just on the industries, as well as the farmers themselves but ultimately on the lives of people.”

Listen: Water situation getting worse

The water situation in Cape Town appears to grow more and more critical with dam levels running low and more requests for residents to use water only when absolutely necessarily until the rainy season starts.

Cllr Xanthea Limburg, Mayoral Committee member for Informal settlements water and waste services and energy, tells Stephen Grootes of the Midday Report that the current dam levels are at 19%. Limburg adds that level four water restrictions have been implemented.

“Level four entails only using potable water for essential purposes such as drinking, cooking and bathing. “ said by ‘Cllr Xanthea Limburg, Mayoral Committee member for Informal settlements water and waste services and energy ‘
Read: Level 4 water restrictions kick off

Limburg says there will be water inspectors monitoring the use of water and compliance of the restrictions.

Cape Town is expected to receive its first winter rains this month. Limburg says that because of climate change that may change or result in far less rain than expected.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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