Temperatures soar in Cape Town

22 October 2018 - 16:22 By Tanya Farber
The rest of the week expected to remain hot in Cape Town.
The rest of the week expected to remain hot in Cape Town.
Image: istock

The mercury in Cape Town is rising - and water consumption is likely to as well.

By Monday afternoon‚ the temperature was 35˚C‚ according to Accuweather‚ with the rest of the week expected to remain hot‚ though slightly cooler at around 30˚C.

Xanthea Limberg‚ mayoral committee member for informal settlements‚ water and waste services‚ and energy‚ said a rise in water consumption when temperatures go up could be attributed to “filling of pools‚ water used for gardening‚ more frequent bathing and washing of clothes‚ and other similar factors”.

She reminded residents‚ however‚ that “use of municipal water to fill pools and irrigate plants currently remains prohibited‚ and a limit of 70 litres per person per day is in place”.

She added that residents who were found to exceed this limit would have their water supply curtailed. “As such‚ we do not expect a marked rise in consumption unless water restrictions are relaxed.”

Before the drought hit‚ average consumption for the city varied between around 650 million litres per day at its lowest in winter and 1.2 billion litres per day at its highest during summer.

Currently‚ level 5 water restrictions are in place until the national department of water and sanitation states otherwise. A decision on whether to increase the city’s water allocation is likely to be made in December.

While Cape Town residents seek reprieve in cold water‚ air-conditioned rooms and any shade they can find‚ Durban has a pleasant week ahead while Johannesburg will experience some unseasonably low temperatures on Monday evening and Tuesday morning with the mercury dropping to around 8˚C‚ before climbing again to the mid to late twenties during the course of the week.

Back in Cape Town: while water consumption is at risk‚ hot and windy weather also causes evaporation from dams. According to provincial minister of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning Anton Bredell‚ the average dam level in the Western Cape has shown a slight decline for the first time since the end of the winter season.

The latest average level for dams in the province is 65.7% (compared to the nerve-racking 36.5% in 2017). “Major dams in the province are still markedly better off than last year at this time‚” he said‚ “with the Theewaterskloof dam still above 58% full and Clanwilliam Dam at 98%.”

He said the “greatest ongoing concern” remained the Karoo region of the Western Cape where the average level for dams stood at below 20%.

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