Current Context on the Water Security in the Western Cape
- The Cape Town system of dams is currently sitting at 72.65% capacity and for the Western Cape State of Dams at 53.98% (as at 13 January 2020 - see below for weekly updates).
- The largest dam in the Western Cape, the Theewaterskloof dam, is at 64.37% capacity.
- The Gouritz River Catchment area has 15.53% capacity, while the Olifants/Doorn River and Berg River Catchment areas have capacity levels of 56.64% and 82.44% respectively.
- As of 1 July 2019, the City of Cape Town moved to a different restriction level system. There are now effectively five restriction levels: zero restrictions, restrictions levels 1 - 3 and emergency restrictions. The City is currently on Level 1 restrictions under the new system.
- Water consumption in Cape Town for the past week stands at 724 megaliters per day (MLD) (as of 13 January 2020) 74 megaliters over the 650 MLD consumptive water-use limit.
- Businesses need to actively work towards a ‘new normal’ to become water resilient. The information provided in the following sections can assist with building resilience.
- In preparation for summer, businesses and residents are encouraged to look for ways to reduce water use, by fixing leaking pipes and fixtures, monitoring and metering water use in processes, and conducting maintenance of boreholes and other equipment.
Overview of the Drought Status
Cape Town is heavily dependend on surface water which is contained within 6 major dams (Wemmershoek, Voelvlei, Steenbras, Theewaterskloof and Berg River Dams).
Below is a breakdown of the state of the Western Cape dams as on 13 January 2020.
The City of Cape Town has released its Water Outlook for 2018, which is regularly updated as conditions change. For access to the interactive Dam Level Model, click here to download. For the Dam Level Model User Guide, click here. Normally winter rainfall starts around the Easter Weekend but in 2017 it started in June. The province experienced below normal rainfall from May to September (+-50% of Long Term average) which has had a significant impact on water levels in our major storage dams. Although some dam levels are increasing, the Western Cape is still at risk and therefore the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has recommended that drought measures continue for the foreseeable future. As such businesses need to plan for a new normal.
While many businesses are based in Cape Town, operations and supply chains may be located in other parts of the Western Cape. Thus it is critical for businesses to be aware of the water situation across the province.
Below you can find the latest Western Cape Municipal Drought Status issued by the Disaster Management Division of the Department of Local Government.
Note: it is focused on hydrological (urban-based) drought and does not include agricultural drought. This map will be updated as and when applicable.
To find out current water restriction for the Western Cape Municipalities and dam levels click here.
The information provided as part of the Water section of this website is to ensure businesses are as informed as possible to make the necessary decisions to build on long term water resilience. For information on: