cape town dams levels

Theewaterskloof dam, June 2018. (Jeannete van Doorn Venter / Facebook)

All major Cape Town dams are better off now than they were a year ago

Across the board, a 10.9% increase has painted a rosier picture for the Cape.

cape town dams levels

Theewaterskloof dam, June 2018. (Jeannete van Doorn Venter / Facebook)

A sight for sore Capetonian eyes, here. As locals have spent the last 12 months watching the Cape Town dams dwindle, they’ve had cause for celebration in these last few weeks.

The Mother City is on a roll. Day zero is far from defeated, but a wet and rainy autumnal season has paved the way for more winter downpours. In fact, a second major cold front within a week is due to hit the Cape on Thursday.

What has helped fill the dams up?

Residents have slashed their water consumption, which is at roughly half of what it was in 2017. Hundreds of water saving initiatives have also cut usage to all-time lows. Now, those in the Western Cape who’ve had to stick to just 50 litres of water per person, per day are starting to get their rewards.

Data released by the provincial government yesterday showed that water levels in the dams had increased for the third week in a row. In that time, the dams have collectively gone from being under 20% full to nearly 32% full.

Cape Town dams: Levels for June

Of course, that still means that 68% of it is empty – one for the pessimists, here. The recent good news comes with a caveat. Capetonians must keep using water wisely. However, they can at least revel in the joy that their pain is showing signs of gain.

In June 2017, the water levels in the Cape Town dams stood at 20.9%. Exactly 12 months on, that figure now stands at 31.8% – an increase of 10.9%.

Cape Town dam levels
Compared to readings this time last year, every major Cape Town dam has seen an increase in its water levels. (Western Cape Government)

It’s been a remarkable year for the Cape, which started 2018 facing the prospect of day zero by April. It was pushed back by a few days, then by a month and eventually, shoved out to 2019.

However, the threat has not gone away. It’s just moved over the horizon. It may be out of sight, but it should not be out of mind. Cape Town has achieved something resembling a miracle so far, but level 6b restrictions remain in place.