Latest Western Cape dam levels
On 22 May 2017, Premier Helen Zille declared the Western Cape a disaster area in reponse to the drought crises. Read more here.
Residents and visitors must reduce water consumption in accordance with the water restrictions of their respective municipality. Extreme water savings are needed in the following regions:
- City of Cape Town - level 4 water restrictions in effect.
- Drakenstein Municipality - level 4 water restrictions in effect.
- Stellenbosch Municipality - level 4 waterrestrictions in effect.
High Alert: City of Cape Town
Residents and visitors in the City of Cape Town are restricted to using 100 litres of treated water, per person, per day only for the purposes of drinking, washing and cooking. All exemptions have been revoked.
The Western Cape currently faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during our 2016 winter season. The demand for water has also steadily increased every year due to the province's rapidly growing population and economy. This, as well as climate change, has added significant pressure on our water supply.
What are water restrictions?
In order to ease the pressure placed on our water supply, municipalities across the province will continue to implement either level 1, 2 , 3 or 4 water restrictions for the foreseeable future. These restrictions place higher tariffs on water consumption to encourage you to use only what you need. Other penalties such as fines or even imprisonment for blatant water wastage are also possible depending on your municipalities stipulations.
Current water restrictions for Western Cape Municipalities
- Beaufort West Municipality - level 3
- Bergrivier Municipality - level 2
- Bitou Municipality - level 1
- Breede Valley Municipality - level 3B
- Cederberg Municipality - level 2
- Cape Agulhas Municipality - no restrictions
- City of Cape Town - level 4
- Drakenstein Municipality - level 4
- George Municipality - level 2B
- Hessequa Municipality - no restrictions
- Kannaland Municipality - no restrictions
- Knysna Municipality - level 3
- Laingsburg Municipality - no restrictions
- Langeberg Municipality - no restrictions
- Matzikama Municipality - level 2
- Mossel Bay Municipality - no restrictions
- Overstrand Municipality - no restrictions
- Oudtshoorn Municipality - level 1
- Prince Albert Municipality - level 1
- Saldanha Municipality - level 3
- Stellenbosch Municipality - level 4
- Swartland Municipality - level 3
- Swellendam Municipality - no restrictions
- Theeswaterskloof Municipality - level 3
- Witzenberg Municipality - level 3
Are there plans for future water storage capacity?
The City of Cape Town has indicated that it is investigating all viable options to increase sustainable water storage for the City.
While several small to medium desalination plants exist in the province, the cost of running and maintaining these facilities is very high. Future desalination plants would need to be thoroughly investigated and go through feasability studies, environmental impact assessments and public participation processes before they can be built.
Where does the water go?
Other than using water in our homes for cooking, washing and sanitation, water also plays a central role in the economy of the Western Cape. The agriculture sector relies heavily on a reliable and sustainable water supply in order to produce good crops and sustain livestock. The manufacturing sector also needs water to produce manufactured goods.
Water is also lost to evaporation, leaks in water supply pipes, and deliberate water wastage.
My Tap water tastes different, is it safe to drink?
Your tap water remains perfectly safe to drink, as tests are continuously conducted by municipalities to ensure tap water is suitable for human consumption.
What can I do to help?
Go beyond ordinary water-saving and get creative with new ways to save as much as you can.
- Limit your water usage to human consumption and needs.
- Use captured water or grey water to flush your toilet. If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down.
- Fill your kitchen sink no more than one-third when doing the dishes by hand.
- Before doing laundry, make sure your laundry needs to be washed (odoured or dirty), and wait until there's a full load of laundry.
Our water security is vital for almost everything we do, which is why it's important that we all work together to ease demand on our water supply. Remember, every drop counts! Report leaks and burst pipes to your local municipality. Use our water saving tips and follow the guidelines for water restrictions. Share your water saving ideas on social media and encourage family and friends to get involved as well, so that we save as much water as we can, together!
What is the state of Western Cape dams?
The province is supplied with water by 44 dams. These dams collectively hold a maximum storage capacity of 1870.4 million cubic meters.
To date, many of the dams in the province have reported levels drastically lower than levels recorded at the same time during previous years. The average storage across the province on 20 June 2017 is 21%.
How full is the dam in my region?
You can keep track of the water storage levels in dams across the province using the map below. Information on dam storage levels is supplied by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.
Dam storage levels on 20 June 2017.