Rain on the way but some towns still face a water crisis

04 September 2018 - 13:25 By Andre Jurgens
Recent rains have raised the average dam levels in the Western Cape to 58%‚ a dramatic improvement on the 16% level recorded at the start of w
Recent rains have raised the average dam levels in the Western Cape to 58%‚ a dramatic improvement on the 16% level recorded at the start of w
Image: iStock

A cold front accompanied by rain is expected to make landfall in the western parts of the country late on Tuesday.

The South African Weather Service said although the front would bring showers in the Western Cape‚ the outlook for the interior of the country would be dry and windy for the remainder of Tuesday.

Johannesburg is expected to be sunny with a maximum of 30˚C on Wednesday with a possibility of rain towards the end of the week.

Cape Town will be rainy on Wednesday with a high of around 14 ˚C. Durban will be partly cloudy on Wednesday with a high of 27˚C and rain later in the week.

Snow Report South Africa said there could be light snowfall across the high peaks of the Cedarberg‚ Hex River Mountains and the Boland Mountains north of Wellington overnight on Tuesday in the Western Cape.

Recent rains have raised the average dam levels in the Western Cape to 58%‚ a dramatic improvement on the 16% level recorded at the start of winter.

Dams supplying the city of Cape Town have risen to 65.9% of storage capacity but authorities have warned that any relaxation of water restrictions‚ should that occur‚ would “at first be conservative”.

“The rainfall over the past few weeks‚ combined with continued saving efforts by the vast majority of residents‚ has seen dams fill to levels the city hasn’t seen in years. We have managed to steer ourselves away from disaster‚ but must now start considering how best to manage our recovery going forward‚” said executive deputy mayor‚ Ian Neilson‚ on Monday.

But further inland‚ the town of Beaufort West along the N1 is still grappling with a crisis. The town’s previous main source of water‚ the Gamka dam‚ is empty. Municipal manager‚ Kosie Haarhoff‚ told eNCA on Tuesday the town was experiencing its “worst drought”.

The town is relying on boreholes for 84% of its water needs and 16% was coming from a reclamation plant that turned effluent into drinking water.

“The boreholes are drying up‚” said Haarhoff.

Residents‚ he warned‚ had increased their consumption of water after an emergency intervention by the Gift of the Givers to drill more boreholes in 2017.

“We must reduce our water consumption‚” he said.

“Day zero for Beaufort West is around the corner‚” he added.

Here's your five-day weather forecast for Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth:

South African weather by largest cities daily with 5-day forecast.


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