South Africa: Cape Town's Dams Finally Over 50% Full - but Only Just

Cape Town's dams are finally half full at 50.02%, thanks to rain and continued careful consumption - but it is not time for celebration quite yet.

"We are thrilled to see the dam levels steadily increasing for the third week in a row," said Mayoral Committee Member Councillor Xanthea Limberg on Monday.

The latest measure is that the dams are 50.02% full, a far cry from the drought-inducted brush with a possible "Day Zero".

"Additionally, with the drop in the daily consumption level, our dams are slowly but surely on the road to recovery."

Limberg said Cape Town's collective water consumption for the past week dropped by 8 million litres per day, to 534 million litres per day - from 542 million litres per day last week.

According to the City's records dams were just over 42% of storage capacity at the same time last year.

However, the good news does not mean lengthy baths and watering lawns with abandon is in order as Level 3 restrictions are still in place.

"Dam levels are in a better position when compared to the same period in previous years, but we encourage residents to continue using water wisely.

"The City would like to thank the water warriors who continue to save this precious resource," said Limberg.

Level 3 "recovery" restrictions that are in place now mean:

- Dripper, drip line or soaker hose irrigation is allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays;

- Sprinklers or a hosepipe fitted with a self-closing spray nozzle is allowed on Saturdays;

- Watering using a bucket or watering can is still allowed and watering hours are still restricted to before 9:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day per property irrespective of the watering method used;

- The overall city water usage target of 650 million litres per day and the personal water use limit of 105 litres per person per day remains in place;

- Commercial car washes may use municipal drinking water subject to industry best practice water conservation norms and the recycling of at least 50% of the water used.

- Lower water pressure to conserve water is 'the new normal';

- Continue flushing toilets less;

- Many people are continuing with habits started during the drought such as using grey/waste water from washing to flush toilets and taking short stop-start showers.


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