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CoCT, farmers taking water saving lessons from drought

The City of Cape Town's Xanthea said that the long-term effects of the water crisis were acutely felt on farms, but she said that the upside of the drought was the lessons it had taught them.

FILE: A view of the Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Dams levels across the metro and province continue to improve but farmers hit hard by the drought said that it would take them years to recover.

Just 18 months ago, the City of Cape Town was in the grips of its worst drought in living memory and the Theewaterskloof Dam became the poster child for the crisis, turning into a desolate beach.

Just a year ago, the dam had reached a dire level of 45%. However, following winter rain, it's now 70% full.

It’s good news for urban residents, but it'll take a while for farmers in the area to feel the joy too.

Workers on Gelukstroom Farm, a few kilometres away, said that the drought hit them hard and they had to build three of their own dams in a space of 18 months and drill boreholes.

Supervisor Rita Valentine said that it would take them up to three years to recover.

“When you look at your budget you can see we suffered. It will take two to three years.”

The City of Cape Town's Xanthea said that the long-term effects of the water crisis were acutely felt on farms, but she said that the upside of the drought was the lessons it had taught them.

“We realised the importance of diversifying our water supply so that it doesn’t rely solely on rainfall.”

She said that although altogether city feeder dams are on average over 80% full, they were still encouraging people to save water.

WATCH: Theewaterskloof farmers: It will take 3 years to undo drought damage