The recovery of the Western Cape dams – across the province and the Cape Town Municipality – continues unabatedly this week. On Monday, we got the figures through for the Mother City, as the good news keeps flowing: Theewaterskloof dam is now 70% full, and the combined water system for CPT has broken through the 80% barrier.
But it is the figures for the Western Cape – a vast area still battling droughts in several key agricultural regions – which are standing out this week. Despite a quieter week in terms of rainfall, there has been a 3% increase for the provincial facilities. They sit on 64.55% full and could surpass the two-thirds-full mark by next week.
However, there’s a special mention in store for the Clanwilliam dam in Cederberg. The reserve reached its capacity limits over the weekend and was forced to open its sluice gates. Torrents of water gushed from the dam, making it the third one in the Cape to “fill-up”, after Berg River and Steenbras Upper overflowed last month:
Anton Bredell is the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. He has lauded the improvements seen across the province and the Mother City, paying tribute to the recovery staged by Theewaterskloof. However, he reminded Capetonians that they are still obliged to use water wisely.
“The biggest dam in the province, the Theewaterskloof dam, is currently above 70%. In January 2018 the dam was at 10% and dropping fast. This has been a remarkable winter rainfall season. We continue to monitor the interior regions where extreme water stress remains.”
“This is largely in the Karoo region of the Western Cape. The major concern relates to the agriculture sector in these parts. Using less water must become a permanent way of life. The resource will be under pressure permanently due to factors like climate change and population growth.”