Dams that supply Cape Town fall further as water crisis looms

24 January 2018 - 10:50 By Reuters
Residents walk past a leaking communal tap in Khayelitsha township, near Cape Town. File photo.
Residents walk past a leaking communal tap in Khayelitsha township, near Cape Town. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Water levels at the dams that supply Cape Town fell further this week, data showed on Wednesday, the latest sign of a deepening crisis that could soon see people forced to queue for water rations.

Dam levels in the Western Cape fell to 25.3 percent on Monday from 26.6 percent the previous week, and from nearly 40 percent a year ago, according to data from the department of water affairs.

City authorities have said residents will have to queue for water when levels drop to 13.5 percent, a figure expected to be reached in April.

Cape Town told residents last week they would need to cut their daily water consumption by almost half from next month as authorities scramble to prevent the city running out of water.

The water crisis poses a risk to a vibrant tourist industry that sees almost 2 million visitors flock to Cape Town every year.

The drought is also expected to hit wine production - as the Western Cape faces the smallest harvest in more than a decade. 

Level-six water restrictions came into effect on January 1 2018. It is possible that the current restriction of 87 litres per person per day will be replaced with a 50-litre limit. Here’s how to u...


X