Water Wednesday: Level 3 restrictions are in place as Cape Town water supply declines

Dams that supply Cape Town have declined by 1.1% over the past week to 52.2% of storage capacity. The Department of Water and Sanitation announced National Water Week from 18 – 24 March and urged all South Africans to continue to save water as the rainy season comes to an end for parts of the country.

This year’s campaign is held under the theme: “Leaving no one behind; water for all” and is set to bring to the fore government’s obligation to ensure that all citizens have access to clean water.

The Western Cape’s water reality remains unchanged as they approach their rainy season in winter. The City of Cape Town reminded its residents that level 3 water restrictions were in place and that they should continue saving water.

On the upside, the City of Cape Town’s collective water consumption for the past week dropped to 605 million litres per day.

“The decline in consumption is a testament to our residents’ water-wise behaviour and great savings efforts. Capetonians have done well to remain within the target of 650 million litres of collective usage per day. This will help the City’s dams to recover and build a solid foundation for a more water-sensitive City in years to come,” said the City in a statement.

The restrictions mean that:

  • Daily usage of 105 litres per person per day in total irrespective of whether you are at home, work or elsewhere
  • Washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats with municipal drinking water is only allowed if using a bucket. Washing with non-drinking water or cleaning with waterless products or dry steam-cleaning processes is strongly encouraged
  • You are encouraged to flush toilets with greywater, rainwater or other non-drinking water
  • No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation

The autumn rains could bring about a much-needed boost for Cape Town dams in the coming months as they appear to have done in Riviersonderend earlier this week.

Here is your weekly dam update: 

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom dropped to 97.5%.
  • The Cape Town Dams System, consisting of six dams that serve mainly the City of Cape Town, remain at 40% this week.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 60.9% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 62.5%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

Source: Capricorn Review