Cape Town dam levels Theewaterskloof

Theewaterskloof dam, October 2019 – Photo: Reenval SA / Twitter / Talitha Smith

Cape Town dam levels: Freefall continues as water usage spikes

The heatwave which battered the south-west last week has had a noticeable impact on the Cape Town dam levels – here are the latest readings.

Cape Town dam levels Theewaterskloof

Theewaterskloof dam, October 2019 – Photo: Reenval SA / Twitter / Talitha Smith

It’s been another difficult week for the Cape Town dam levels. Despite spots of rain falling near some of the major facilities, the downpours weren’t big enough to halt the slide. The challenging summer months are taking their toll, but nevertheless, the picture still looks better than it did 12 months ago.

Cape Town dam levels for Monday 20 January

On Monday, it was confirmed that the dam levels stood at a combined total of 71.8% full. This is down 1.4% over the past seven days, but it’s also 9.7% more full than January 2019. Swings and roundabouts, really.

Five of the six major facilities found themselves losing water over the past week. Only the Steenbras Upper dam improved its performance, rising to 99.7%. Alarmingly, it seems like the recent heatwave has really done a number on Cape Town’s water consumption targets.

How much water is being used in the Mother City?

An average of 762 million litres of water per day has been guzzled across the Mother City since last Monday: That’s about 35 million litres more than the previous week, and 112 million litres above the recommended total. Large volumes of international visitors are also affecting the Cape Town dam levels.

Major dams% for 20/1/2020% for previous week% in 2019
Berg River86.6
Steenbras Lower
Steenbras Upper99.7
Total Stored Ml644 487
657 373
557 441
% Storage

Water in the Western Cape

Anton Bredell is the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape. He warned last week that the rainfall outlook for 2020 wasn’t exactly promising for the Cape Town dam levels, and he has reiterated his calls for locals to use water sparingly and asked them to try to cut back on their overall consumption:

“We want to urge consumers to continue to use water sparingly. We are already looking ahead to the 2020/2021 summer season and we want to ask that people continue to reduce water usage where possible and report leaks and problems to local authorities as fast as possible.”

“We are already engaging our local authorities in the Western Cape to look at their networks ahead of the winter season. This includes looking at storm water drainage systems and implementing necessary maintenance on the water networks where needed. By planning ahead and working together, we can stay in front of possible challenges.”

Anton Bredell on the Cape Town dam levels