South African Govt Warns of Declining Water Levels Before Winter

Government has warned of a decline in water levels as the winter season sets in. The Department of Water and Sanitation reiterated its call to residents to continue using water sparingly. Communities were also encouraged to report any water leaks and water infrastructure vandalism to local municipalities.

Despite recent rains, some areas have still not recovered from continued effects of the "Day Zero" drought which has been ongoing since 2015. It's been described as one of the worst droughts experienced by South Africa in recent times.

Day Zero refers to a period of severe water shortage in the Western Cape region, most notably affecting the City of Cape Town. While dam water levels had been declining since 2015, the Cape Town water crisis peaked during mid-2017 to mid-2018 when water levels hovered between 15 and 30 percent of total dam capacity.

Climate scientists predict that increased climate variability will expose South Africa to more frequent and prolonged droughts. Population growth, rural-urban migration, industrialisation, and water pollution all place additional stress on scarce water resources.

InFocus

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