Two dams 100% full after ‘extraordinary’ Western Cape rainfall figures


Two dams in the Western Cape are at 100% capacity – the Berg River and Steenbras Upper dams.

On Monday, the Berg River Dam in Franschhoek was 92.9% full but it started overflowing on Tuesday and the sluice gates had to be opened. The dam levels at Cape Town’s main supply dam, Theewaterskloof, and Voelvlei have also had a major boost.

“Extraordinary” rainfall of up to 100 millimetres has been recorded in the province, according to the SA Weather Service, which include Ceres AWS – 100mm; Worcester – 48mm; Excelsior (Ceres) – 43mm; Langgewens – 38mm; Paarl – 34mm.

Heavy snow – about 50 centimetres thick – has fallen in the Matroosberg Nature Reserve near Ceres. The reserve said although the snowy conditions came late this year, they are ideal for 4×4 trails, the SABC reported.

Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell said heavy rainfall and gale-force winds over two days led to some localised flooding, electricity outages and collapsed structures. Mopping-up operations are continuing across Cape Town.

Bredell said rainfall of 70mm was recorded in Kirstenbosch in the Cape Town metro.

“Heavy rainfall was also reported in the Cape Winelands, Overberg and West Coast Districts. We will know the impact on dams by the weekend.”

Bredell says the province’s proactive disaster management plans, which include early-warning systems, helped authorities to better deal with the impact of the storm. Strong winds are still expected along the coast today.

On Wednesday, dam levels were measured at 69.6%, with a total of 624 755 megalitres in the city’s six main storage dams – nearly 50 000 megalitres more than Monday’s measurement. Last year, the dams were at 56.3% in July.

Major dams 22/7/2019 Previous week % 2018
Berg River 92.9 90.3 85.7
Steenbras Lower 57.6 55.2 56.5
Steenbras Upper 99.0 94.8 101.4
Theewaterskloof 53.6 51.6 41.6
Voëlvlei 68.4 66.6 56.9
Wemmershoek 58.7 53.9 84.4
Total Stored Ml 575 337 554 831 505 318
% Storage 64.1 61.8 56.3