Western Cape water update: Misverstand Dam project success
Statement by Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development
A project to pump water from the Berg River Dam to the Misverstand Dam has exceeded expectations. The project initiated by Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape and driven by the National Department of Water and Sanitation under Minister Gugile Nkwinti, only weeks ago was an urgent intervention to ensure 22 towns on the West Coast of the province don’t run out of drinking water.
“The National department agreed to release 5 billion cubic metres of water from Berg River Dam, about 130 kilometers from Misverstand Dam. The riverbed is dry in many areas and we expected to lose a lot of water along the way. Our hope was to see about 2 billion cubic meters reach Misverstand. The data is indicating there is already in excess of 2.5 billion cubic meters in the dam.”
Bredell says the Misverstand Dam is currently 61% full.
He adds that a presence on the ground by provincial and national enforcement agencies including the green and blue scorpions contributed to the success. “I want to thank everyone involved, specifically the National Minister for his role in this. We look forward to working together with Minister Nkwinti and his team and we remain at his disposal in this regard.”
Further good news this week was the fact that recent rainfall has seen the average damlevels in the province increase slightly for the first time this year. The average level for dams across the Western Cape for the week starting 30 April was 16.6% (2017: 20.6 %). Last week at this time the level was 15.8%. Bredell has repeated the call on consumers to continue to use water sparingly.
“The provincial water situation remains critical but some good news is always welcome.”