cape town dam levels

WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 13: Theewaterskloof Dam – Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk 24 / Jaco Marais

Cape Town dam levels vs Vaal Dam: First water readings for 2020

Cape Town dam levels and the latest readings from the Vaal Dam tell two very different stories at the beginning of 2020. Here’s how both are faring.

cape town dam levels

WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 13: Theewaterskloof Dam – Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk 24 / Jaco Marais

Both the Cape Town dam levels and those of the Vaal Dam in Gauteng are being kept under close observation this summer. Not only is the Mother City braced to lose a significant amount of water (as per the advent of warmer months), but those in the north-east face an uncertain time as well.

The Vaal Dam is the biggest water-supplying reservoir in South Africa. It’s integral to the reticulation system in Gauteng. But with levels plummeting below 40% recently, Johannesburg has had to implement low-level water restriction for its residents.

So, how are both systems faring at the start of the year? It’s a tale of mixed fortunes.

Cape Town dam levels for Thursday 2 January 2020

It hasn’t been the merriest of Christmases for Cape Town dam levels. Over the festive period, the dams have lost almost 2% of their combined water totals. The facilities stand at 75.4% full, with each major dam having to endure losses. Theewaterskloof has dipped under the two-thirds-full mark for the first time this summer.

On the whole, the difference between now and 12 months ago is still a positive one for the Mother City. The dams are 9.5% above what they were in January 2019. At the last count, Capetonians are using 667 million litres per day, which is about 3% above the city’s desired maximum consumption target.

Major dams2/1/2020 (latest readings)Previous week% 2019
Berg River91.1
Steenbras Lower
Steenbras Upper99.9
Total Stored Ml677 616
694 599
591 926
% Storage75.4

Gauteng: Latest water levels for the Vaal Dam on Thursday 2 January 2020

Where the Cape Town dam levels have faltered, the Vaal Dam has excelled. Gauteng residents were given a late Christmas present when the dam levels surpassed the 50% mark on Boxing Day. Since then, progress has been slow and steady, as the beleaguered facility heads toward a more calming combined total.

  • Friday 27 December: 50.03%
  • Saturday 28 December: 50.1%
  • Sunday 29 December: 50.1%
  • Monday 30 December: 50.42%
  • Tuesday 31 December: 50.5%
  • Wednesday 1 January: 50.5%
  • Thursday 2 January: 50.51%