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Fullest dams in Cape Town since 2015 - but drought fears still lurk

11 May 2020 - 17:45 By Aron Hyman
Cape Town's dams are 54.3% full, the fullest for this time of year since 2015.
Cape Town's dams are 54.3% full, the fullest for this time of year since 2015.
Image: Anna Nikonorova/123rf.com

A dry May has seen Cape Town dam levels drop by 0.6% over the past week, at a time when the region should start receiving the bulk of its rain.

But Cape Town dam levels still stood at 54.3% on Monday – the highest for this time of year since the drought started in 2015. It plunged large parts of South Africa into a water crisis that still persists today in some areas. 

Cape Town mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg cautioned that the city may not be out of the woods yet. 

"Although the bulk of the region’s rainfall traditionally falls in May and June, rainfall in 2020 to date is lower than the long-term average between January and April," she said.

She said it was still too early to read too much into these statistics. 

Water consumption was well below the long-term average, so low rainfall was not a significant cause for concern.

Consumption over the past week for the city stood at 676-million litres per day - an increase from the previous week's 663-million litres per day.

Cape Town used more than a billion litres of water per day before the city and the Western Cape government introduced a water-saving campaign that included restrictions.

"The possibility that the drought may not be over does warrant a reminder that we need to remain aware of water restrictions," added Limburg.