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 5 water restrictions in effect. 
  • Drakenstein Municipality - level 4 water restrictions in effect.
  • Saldanha Municipality - level 4 restrictions in effect.
  • Stellenbosch Municipality - level 4 water restrictions in effect.

high alert

High Alert: City of Cape Town

Residents and visitors in the City of Cape Town are restricted to using 87 litres of treated water per person, per day 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 All exemptions have been revoked.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.

August 2017 Western Cape drought map.

Level 5

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 municipality's stipulations.

Current water restrictions for Western Cape Municipalities  

Are there plans to increase 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.

Read Mayor Patricia De Lille's statement: Advancing water resilience: getting to an additional 500 million litres of new water a day.

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. 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 rain 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 your municipality's guidelines for water restrictions. Share your water saving ideas on social media and encourage family and friends to do their bit as well, so that we save as much water as we possibly can, together!

What's the state of Western Cape dams?

The province is supplied with water by 44 main dams. These dams collectively hold a maximum storage capacity of 1870.4 million cubic meters.

To date, many of the dams in our province have reported levels drastically lower than levels recorded at the same time during previous years. The average storage across the province on 4 October is 37.3%.

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 4 October 2017.


The content on this page was last updated on 5 October 2017