9 July 2018

South Africa: Water and Sanitation Gives Update On Western Cape Water Situation

press release

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Western Cape Regional office wishes to update water-users about the status of the water situation in the Western Cape.

According to the latest dam levels assessment of 09 July 2018, the combined average dam levels for the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) are at 53.05% as compared to 48.33% last week. Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the system has risen to 38.55% % compared to 19.61% same time last year.

Rashid Khan, the DWS Western Cape Regional Head says the dam levels indicate that they are half full (at 53%) with more rains hoped for during this winter rainfall season. This is a significant step up our water security in the Western Cape Province, especially those dams that are part of the WCWSS that supply the City of Cape Town.

Khan further says the need for water savings however remains, and the way forward in the face of climate change would be establishing alternative water sources as the primary source and the rainfall (regarded as surface water where it becomes available) as the secondary option especially so when the climate change is taken into consideration.

The prevailing water restrictions will remain in force until our dam levels reach more than 85% as a collective average of the dams in the Western Cape. It is not the intention of this department to curtail water users at household sphere of governance to 50 liters of water per person per day.

The national department allows the local government to manage its water use such that its local commercial, industrial and domestic users utilise water accordingly. It is therefore the prerogative of a Local Government authority to set and manage its water use according to the water security prevailing at the time (such as after this rainfall event).

The DWS is pleased for the much needed rainfall we have had thus far in our winter rainfall season and hope that it continues to fill our dams to storage levels above 85%.

"Our water security at this time is much healthier than a year or two ago during the debilitating drought that we have had for the past few years. Our collective effort as one government would be to guard against complacency and to work seamlessly as one Government in the quest for higher levels of water security", said Khan.

Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation

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