Cape Town dam levels: City pulls in right direction but water is fading fast

Theewaterskloof is the largest dam supplying municipal water to Cape Town. It is currently 13% full

The Cape Town water crisis has produced some major success stories

There’s been a fair bit of serendipity since the crisis hit top gear…

Cape Town dam levels: City pulls in right direction but water is fading fast

Theewaterskloof is the largest dam supplying municipal water to Cape Town. It is currently 13% full

It’s been an incredibly bleak year for the Western Cape, engulfed in a water crisis that is knocking on the door of ‘Day Zero’ – the day when the taps run dry.

We’ve reported – in unflinching detail – just how serious the issue is. No magic rainstorm is coming to help Cape Town. Desalination plants take years to build, and the previous local government had done nothing to even consider the effects of drought.

However, it’s not all been doom and gloom. In times like these, we’ve seen South Africans reach their brilliant best. Where there is a crisis, there’s a Saffer thinking of a way out. So we’re celebrating some of the people who have been utterly superhuman in helping to ease the water crisis woes:

Success stories of the Cape water crisis:

1. Mpumalanga farmer sends convoy of farm supplies to WC

Mpumalanga farmer sends 1500 animal feed bales to water-stricken Cape
The 31-truck convoy began a 50 hour journey to deliver its bales

This was simply fantastic from Hendrik Van Wyk Vervoer. He managed to mobilise 31 large trucks – filled to the brim with 1500 bales of animal feed and other agricultural goodies – to get to the Western Cape from Mpumalanga. The journey took more than 50 hours, but provided much-needed relief local farmers.

2. Capetonians got super-creative

We’ve seen some things in our time, but this takes the biscuit. This anonymous hero came up with a water-saving system using just three litres of water, his head, and a bucket. Sorry in advance for the almost-full-frontal nudity. But with great power, comes great consequences.

3. The i-Generation put tech to good use

Theewaterskloof Dam/Jon Kerrin Photography

As always, it’s up to our best and brightest youth to undo the mistakes of an older generation. Keanu Arendze is part of a team who are developing a water monitoring sensor system for ABSA, using drone technology. The device will calculate the volume of water used in an office. It will soon be applied to farming and irrigation.

4. Stellenbosch Uni help schools cut back 80% on water usage

Trust our educational minds to show everyone the way. A Smart Meter System was developed by the University of Stellenbosch, who started ‘Bridgiot’ to support the installations. They’ve been backed by the Western Cape Government, and schools on the programme have cut water usage by 80%. Incredible stuff!

5. UCT student’s brilliant entrepreneurship earns rave reviews

This design, coupled with their old greywater unit would reduce consumption by up to 80% per month. Nkosinathi Nkomo, a third-year civil engineering student at the University of Cape Town has formed a company that reduces the amount of water people use at home and work.

The company is working with contractors in Mpumalanga and have been installing their greywater units in some schools in the area. So far, AquaRenu’s clients have been homeowners in both Cape Town and Joburg.

6. Westin Hotel dedicated efforts save one million litres a month

If a hotel, with thousands of guests and vast water consumption can cut back, then so can everyone else. We applaud the Westin for the steps they took to save these mammoth amounts of water:

  • Removed all bath plugs to encourage showering only
  • Implemented water-free Ecolab hand sanitisers in restrooms
  • Reduced the water pressure, put air-raters in the taps
  • Plastered numerous warnings across the hotel to warn guests
  • Swimming pool filled with 100% non-potable water

7. South Africans found a new level of funny…

Crisis. Political chaos. End of the world. You name it, nothing is off-limits to South Africans online. The memes were delicious, the snark was endless, and the chill? My word, it has been non-existent.