Western Cape residents urged to use water sparingly as dam levels reportedly decline

The Theewaterskloof dam is at 75.21% full. File picture: Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

The Theewaterskloof dam is at 75.21% full. File picture: Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 14, 2024


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has once again called on Western Cape citizens to use water sparingly after they reported a slight decline in dam levels.

DWS Western Cape Provincial Head Ntombizanele Bila-Mupariwa said a week-on-week decline in dam levels was consistent with the scorching hot weather conditions during the first two months of the year.

“The sweltering high temperatures we have experienced combined with high water usage in recent weeks has contributed to the slight decline of the dam levels in the province,” said Bila-Mupariwa.

She emphasised that South Africa was a water-scarce nation due to insufficient and unreliable rainfall. This calls for renewed efforts to use water sparingly.

According to the department’s recent hydrological report there has been a slight decline on the River Catchments Systems across the province compared to last week.

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) was currently standing at 78.46%, a decrease of 1.86% compared to last week.

The WCWSS supplies water to the City of Cape Town, Theewaterskloof Local Municipality (LM), Drakenstein LM, Stellenbosch LM, Berg River LM, Swartland LM, Saldanha LM, some Mines & Industries as well as Water Management Institutions (representing mostly irrigation farmers) in the catchments of the Riviersonderend, Berg & Eerste Rivers.

The Olifants-Doorn River Catchment average combined dam levels are 53.91%, compared to 57.68% last week.

In the Gouritz River Catchment, which covers the Little and Klein Karoos and the coastal belt, the combined average is 66.88%. Unlike the above, this is a notable improvement from the period when it hovered below 50% between 2018 and 2022.

The department in its statement said there is a significant project underway in the catchment, which is the raising of the Clanwilliam Dam wall.

In recent months, the project has been revived after a visit by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu.

The Theewaterskloof dam is at 75.21% full, a better yield than last year’s 54.80% last year.

The Theewaterskloof dam accounts for 54% water supply in the province.

The Berg River Dam stands at 79.69%, Brandvlei Dam at 59.47%, Ghamka Dam at 77.77% and Wolwedans Dam stands at 96.12%.

IOL News