Cape Town – Recent rainfall has given a much-needed boost to dam levels that have recorded increases across the province.

Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) acting provincial head Zanele Bila-Mupariwa said: “The downpours and the snow will certainly make a positive impact on the dam levels and recharge the ground water levels of the province.”

However, Bila-Mupariwa, added: “The rains nevertheless did not yield the desired outcomes in the Gouritz River catchment system as the Gamka Dam and other dams are stable.

“Gamka Dam is currently at 31.5% compared to 31.7% last week. This catchment requires significant rains to ramp up its dam levels.”

The latest average dam level for the Western Cape is 36.8%, up from 33.6% at the same time a year ago. Meanwhile, the dams supplying the Cape metro have increased by 2,1% over the past week to 55,1% of total capacity. This time last year they stood at 45.7%.

Water consumption was at 647 million litres per day for the same period. This is down by 29 million litres per day since the last update two weeks ago, when it stood at 676 million litres per day. It was not possible to complete last week’s dam levels update due to a Covid-19 infection at the office where this is normally compiled. 

“The South African Weather Service has predicted higher than average rainfall in our part of the country this year, and with this in mind we are cautiously optimistic that the rains of last week are a sign of things to come,” said Mayco Member for Water and Waste,  Xanthea Limberg.

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said: “We have a long way to go yet, but we are happy to see the trend reversing and dam levels increasing as the winter rain starts falling.

“As catchment areas are quite large in the province, water can often continue to flow into dams for a number of days. We hope to see further good rainfall in the province during the remainder of the winter.

“Despite the wetter weather, we must all continue to use water as sparingly as possible to enable our dams to recover,” he said.

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