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WC water woes could worsen if dams don’t recover, says academic

The province needs at least three consecutive years of average rainfall for its dams to recover.

The Department of Water and Sanitation conducted a site visit at the Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town on 22 February 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Unless all the Western Cape’s dams reach 80% capacity by October, the province's water woes could worsen.

The province needs at least three consecutive years of average rainfall for its dams to recover.

Dam levels are collectively standing at 21,9%.

Jittery and parched Capetonians will be watching the skies and monitoring weather reports more closely as winter draws closer.

University of Cape Town (UCT) academic Kevin Winter says the Western Cape needs between 450-550 ml of rainfall every winter for the next three years.

Winter adds the last time the province had a water surplus was in October 2014.

“Our aim should always be to ensure that our dams are close to 80% and above by the time we get to the end of October at the end of every year.”

Over the past week, Capetonians have used 521 million litres of water. Officials say this indicates a stabilisation in consumption.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)