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Taps won't run dry in West Coast towns

04 May 2018 - 10:36 By Nora Shelly
The Berg River during the severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
The Berg River during the severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
Image: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

A move by the Western Cape government to save 22 towns from running out of water has paid off.

Western Cape officials announced on Friday that an extra 2.5 billion cubic metres of water is now in the Misverstand Dam after being pumped 130 kilometres from the Berg River Dam. The National Department of Water and Sanitation released 5 billion cubic metres of water from the Berg River Dam.

Anton Bredell‚ MEC of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning‚ said in a statement that they had expected to lose a lot of the 5 billion cubic metres along the way due to the dry riverbed.

“Our hope was to see about 2 million cubic meters reach Misverstand. The data is indicating there is already in excess of 2.5 million cubic meters in the dam‚” said Bredell.

He noted that provincial and national enforcement agencies like the Green and Blue Scorpions had contributed to the successful operation.

The release of water from Berg River was intended to ensure that 22 towns on the West Coast don't run out of drinking water. Bredell also heralded the project as a successful collaboration between Western Cape and national officials.

Bredell also noted that the amount of water in all Western Cape dams rose slightly thanks to recent rainfall. The dams were at 16.6% capacity last week‚ up from 15.8%.

“The provincial water situation remains critical but some good news is always welcome‚” he said.