17 July 2017

South Africa: Keep Saving Water While It Rains - Western Cape Government

Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp
Theewaterskloof Dam in drought stricken Western Cape (file photo).

If you were thinking of wallowing in a nice, deep hot bath because the weekend rain in the Western Cape means there is lots of water, don't do it.

"We must ensure that dam levels recover, so when it starts to rain, consumers should not revert back to using water wastefully," Anton Bredell, the province's Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said on Monday.

He is still waiting for the final rain figures for the past week to come in, but noted that some areas in the province got a bumper 50mm of rain.

However, the average water level for dams across the province only went up slightly to 25.1% from last week's average of 24.08%.

This is a marked improvement on the frightening 17.6% average levels across the Western Cape on May 29, but still far off the target of having dams at an average 75% full by the end of October, and enough water to get through summer.

The average levels for Cape Town's combined water systems is 26.1%, compared with last week's 25.1%. Last year the average was 43.1% for the Cape Town area.

This time last year, the average level of dams was 46% full for the province, said Bredell.

Since then, water restrictions have become increasingly severe, with the densely populated Cape Town already at Level 4b restrictions.

This means that municipal water can only be used for essential washing, cooking and drinking.

"The latest data does not reflect the weekend's rainfall and it was pleasing to note reported rainfall measurements of up to 50mm in some areas in the Western Cape," said Bredell.

"This, in addition to good snowfall, should have a good impact on dam levels, however, we are still a long way from where we need to be."

Source: News24

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