3 November 2017

South Africa: State of the Dams - the Cape's Water Supply At a Glance

analysis

The Western Cape is facing its worst drought in recent history. Here's what you need to know about its significant dams. By JASON NORWOOD-YOUNG and MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.

Cape Town's water supply relies on six dams connected through an intricate piping system, with another eight smaller dams providing less than half a percent to the total supply. Sixty-four percent of the water in the system is destined for use in Cape Town itself, with a further 32% for agriculture and the remaining 5% for smaller towns.

The most recent update from minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, placed the average level for dams across the Western Cape at 36.3%, compared to 61% over the same period in 2016 (week beginning 30 October).

There are two ways to avoid the taps running dry: by reducing water usage, and producing more water supply. We can avoid running out of water, but only if we work together. This is a partnership between residents and government," he said. Bredell added that negotiations with national government the previous week had been fruitful and that the province would continue to work with national departments regarding disaster...

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