‘Water restrictions can only be lowered if dams are over 80% full’

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Is it now the right time to discuss possibly relaxing water restrictions in Cape Town?

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson seems to think so. Collective average dam levels for the city are now rippling at just above 50%.

But it’s national government which has the final say on whether water curbs can be lowered.

This time last year it was a very different picture. Cape Town’s feeder dams were sitting at 21%. They’re now at just over 50%.

But we’re not out of the desert just yet and city bosses are looking to the Water and Sanitation Department to see if it’s safe to relax restrictions.

Neilson says municipal officials have also met with the premier and the local government MEC.

“We believe that we should not be waiting till we get over 80% [dam levels] before there can be some relaxation. I’m not talking about a complete abandonment of restrictions and, in fact, it is not the appropriate thing to do at all.”

Water and Sanitation says restrictions can only be lowered if dams are more than 80% full.


These are the Cape Town dam levels recorded on 2 July for the past 5 years.  Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN