Dam levels in the Western Cape have improved this winter, standing at 33.5% compared to 16% this time last year.
The average dam levels are also nearly double what they were at this time last year. Cape Town’s average dam level was 45.7%, also noticeably higher than 2018’s 23.4%. The Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department said residents must understand that even though dam levels have improved, Western Cape’s water resources remain under pressure. “We pray for a very good rainy season but with all the other challenges, like economic growth and population growth, our resources are under pressure. How we manage this going forward is crucial. We do have a water plan. We’ve revised that now and will shift our focus to the Karoo area,” said Environmental Affairs MEC spokesperson James-Brent Styan.
More dam statistics:
According to Rand water, the Vaal dam, which is South Africa’s second biggest dam by area and fourth largest by volume is currently at 71.0%. It spans three provinces – Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State. Sterkfontein dam is sitting at 93.2%, while Grootdraai dam is at 73.9% and Bloemhof at 102.3%. Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, has welcomed the slight increase in dam levels across the province ahead of the winter and also urges citizens to prepare for the expected wetter months that lie ahead. “We are expecting rain in the coming months and we want to urge people to take precautions in the event of wet weather. In addition, despite a greater sense of comfort at the moment regarding dam levels in the province, I want to continue to urge the public to use water responsibly,” he said.