Umbrellas are back in demand in the Western Cape where recent rains have seen average dam levels in the province rise to above 30% for the first time in months.
The latest dam statistics released on Monday showed a healthy increase in both Cape Town’s catchment dams and others across the province‚ thanks to a series of cold fronts bringing significant rain over the past month. More rain is forecast for the coming weeks.
The biggest net gain was in the Breede River catchment area which recorded 330mm over the past week.
The Berg River catchment area recorded 173mm‚ according to statistics released by the Western Cape government department of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning.
However, department MEC Anton Bredell cautioned residents to continue saving water until dam levels had returned to normal.
“The province is a winter rainfall area so the wet weather is not unexpected‚” Bredell said in the statement. “The problem is there is such a backlog following the three years of drought that the system continues to remain under pressure.
“The good news is that the predictions seem to indicate further rain in the coming weeks. We also want to urge the public to continue to use as little water as possible. We must allow the system to recover as far as possible ahead of the summer period‚” said Bredell.
The average level for dams across the Western Cape is now at 31.5% (as opposed to 21.2% at the same time in 2017). The dams feeding the city of Cape Town are slightly better off at 37.8% (as opposed to 22.7% in 2017).
As an indication of how some of the dam levels have changed‚ on June 11 the Voëlvlei dam was 25.5% full‚ the Theewaterskloof dam 20.8% full and Bergriver Dam 53% full.
On June 18 the Voëlvlei dam was 31.4% full‚ the Theewaterskloof dam 26.6% full and the Bergriver Dam 61.7% full.