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W Cape Water Supply System reaches 90% capacity

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS), which comprises the six largest dams in the Western Cape, has hit 90% capacity.

According to the hydrological report released by the national Department of Water and Sanitation this week, Theewaterskloof Dam sits comfortably at 96%, compared to 76.67% last year.

“The Olifants/Doorn River Catchment on the West Coast of the Western Cape has increased by more than 40% compared to last week. Over the past week, 17 dams, including Karee, Misverstand, Ceres and Brandvlei, saw an increase of more than 5%, with no recorded decrease in dam levels this week,” the department said.

While welcoming the rains, DWS Western Cape Provincial Head, Ntombizanele Bila-Mupariwa, said the rain has left many communities devastated, especially those living in informal settlements.

“Two people are reported to have lost their lives because of flooding, which is regrettable. Besides localised flooding near the construction site of the Clanwilliam Dam wall, there are no immediate reports of infrastructure damage,” Bila-Mupariwa said.

She said that the Clanwilliam Dam construction site office, which is established well above the floodline and full supply level, remains undamaged.

However, the foreman’s office and eight containers that were emptied, were washed away due to unexpected high flows.

Bila-Mupariwa said the work on the dam apron surface will now be delayed until the dam stops spilling. In the meantime, other critical path activities, such as quarry development and embankment work, will continue.

“So far, the heavy rains have not interrupted or intermittently disrupted water supplies. The department is currently auditing infrastructure to ascertain any damages and a comprehensive report will be issued on various platforms in due course.

“While we are happy with the dam level storages across the Western Cape, we remind all water users that most of the rainfall took place during the winter, which is stored and used during the dry and hot summer months of the Western Cape. For this reason, all water users are urged to use water sparingly,” Bila-Mupariwa said.

The South Africa Weather Service has issued another warning of heavy rains this week, and the department has advised residents in Western Cape to take precaution. –


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