CT dam levels rise by 4%, city not out of the woods yet

The City issued an appeal to industry to assist in coming up with solutions to augment the City’s potable water supply, with dam levels now at 23.1%.

FILE: A shallow stream of water runs through the Theewaterskloof Dam on 11 December 2017, as the Western Cape is gripped by drought. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town is appealing to residents not to relax their water-saving efforts.

Dam levels have increased by less than 4% since the storm of two weeks ago, and subsequent rains.

On Monday the city issued an appeal to industry to assist in coming up with solutions to augment the city’s potable water supply, with dam levels now at 23.1%.

The city says level 4 water restrictions will remain in place indefinitely and could even be intensified over the long term.

It will take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover.

And a tough summer is predicted next year.

Kevin Winter of the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Institute says although a city initiative to reach out to the market is coming rather late, it will still be a beneficial exercise.

“There is no one solution. There are multiple solutions that need to be unlocked. Groundwater is just one of a number of others, which starts at households which are our main water user in the city.”

He adds that at least 500mm of rain will have to fall in the large catchment areas, this winter and the next, to fill dams to at least 80%.