Latest Western Cape dam levels
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:
- Beaufort West Municipality - level 3 water restrications in effect.
- City of Cape Town - level 3B water restrictions in effect.
- Drakenstein Municipality - level 3B water restrictions in effect.
- Swartland Municipality - level 3 water restrictions in effect.
Find out what level 3B water restrictions mean for the City of Cape Town, and how you can reduce your water consumption. Please note that definitions of each water restriction level is determined separately by each municipality. Please contact your municipality for restrictions which apply to your area.
The Western Cape currently faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during winter. The demand for water has also steadily increased every year due to the province's 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 or 3 water restrictions for the foreseeable future. Residents and non-exempt businesses who don't comply with water restrictions will be charged higher tariffs and may be fined for disregarding water usage guidelines.
Current water restrictions for Western Cape Municipalities
- Beaufort West Local Municipality - level 3
- Bergrivier Local Municipality - level 2
- Bitou Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Breede Valley Local Municipality - level 2
- Cederberg Local Municipality - level 2
- Cape Agulhas Local Municipality - no restrictions
- City of Cape Town - level 3B
- Drakenstein Local Municipality - level 3B
- George Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Hessequa Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Kannaland Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Knysna Local Municipality - level 2
- Laingsburg Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Langeberg Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Matzikama Local Municipality - level 2
- Mossel Bay Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Overstrand Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Oudtshoorn Local Municipality - level 1
- Prince Albert Local Municipality - level 1
- Saldanha Local Municipality - level 2
- Stellenbosch Local Municipality - level 2
- Swartland Local Municipality - level 3
- Swellendam Local Municipality - no restrictions
- Theeswaterskloof Local Municipality - level 2
- Witzenberg Local Municipality - no restrictions
Are there plans for future water storage capacity?
While there are no current water storage projects in the Western Cape, 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.
Tap water tastes different, is it safe to drink?
When water levels in dams drop to low levels, the water will take on an 'earthy' taste. This is because the concentration of sediment (sand) is higher in less water. 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. Try to limit your water usage to human consumption and needs. Use captured water or grey water to flush your toilet. 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 23 March 2017 is 27%.
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 23 March 2017.