LEVELS OF MAJOR CAPE DAMS DROP BY 50%

LEVELS OF MAJOR CAPE DAMS DROP BY 50%

The major dams supplying the Cape metropolitan area are only about half as full as they were this time last year… and dropping by around 1.8% every week. 

The current capacity of the six dams, which collectively hold 898 221kl, was 32.7% on 1 April 2016 compared with 60.1% last year. 

Theewaterskloof dam, which is on the Sonderend River near Villiersdorp, can hold 480 million cubic metres of water when full. But this week it was at 34.5% of its capacity. 50% of Cape Town’s water comes from the Theewaterskloof dam. 

When the level drops below 30%, that is when you get an increase in pollutants and toxins. 

There were indications that El Niño had started to ease and a cooler autumn was approaching with forecasts for above average winter rain. 

The last time the dam was so low was in 2005, when it went down to 25% capacity. 

The other big dams are Berg River currently at 25.1% down from 64.9% last year; Voëlvlei 19.9% compared to 54.8% last year; Steenbras Upper 59.6% compared with 70.7% last year; Steenbras Lower 42.8% compared with 52.7% last year and Wemmershoek 49.9% compared with 59.5% per last year. 

The recent rain had briefly slowed the rate of decline in dam levels. 

However, at this early stage it has not rained nearly enough to start filling the large dams.

Reference:

Helen Bamford – Cape Argus