Cape Town dams filling up

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The levels of the dams supplying water to Cape Town have been rising consistently and significantly over the past six weeks, says the Deputy Mayor of Cape Town Ian Neilson.

“As at today, total dam storage capacity is at just over 43%, and we still have more than two months of expected winter rainfall ahead of us. Over the last few months, our collective water usage has been around 520 million litres per day.

“This may be compared to the situation at the end of winter last year, when dam levels were at 38% and consumption was over 600 million litres a day,” said Neilson on Thursday.

He said the city was now in a position to state that not only have they avoided Day Zero, but Cape Town residents will also safely get through summer in 2019.

This is due to the amount of water already in the dams, intense water demand management programmes, unrelenting communication, awareness and the behavioural change it has effected over the past two years, as well as the continued support and sacrifice of Team Cape Town.

“We are now in a much better position, not only due to the encouraging rainfall we have seen so far, but also because of the incredible cooperation of our residents and due to the various technological and human interventions initiated by this municipality to drive down consumption,” said the Deputy Mayor.

Interventions by the city included:

- the success of an extensive and dedicated communication, awareness and behavioural change campaign to encourage a behavioural shift among residents

- the continuing roll-out of pressure management across the city, which is currently achieving savings of more than 62 million litres of water a day and climbing, as more pressure zones are created across the metro

- the installation of water demand management devices for those who contravene water restrictions

- a leak repair programme to minimise water losses, especially among indigent residents

- steep tariff hikes

- the city also took a holistic approach to managing the crisis and attempted to maximise all alternative water resources in a very short period of time.

Neilson said while the city hopes at some point in the next few months to be in a position to relax the current restrictions, this decision will have to wait until national government relaxes restrictions on releases from the water supply system.

He has requested a meeting with the Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti to discuss this.

“Until such time as we are able to reassess our situation, let us all therefore continue to implement these changes and keep saving water,” he urged.

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