South Africa’s Cape Town has called on residents to use water sparingly, warning that the city faces serious risk of dry taps as dam levels continue to decline.In its weekly water report published late Wednesday, the City of Cape Town said there was “a strong indication of a possible, but not confirmed, drought cycle developing or continuing from the record low rainfall levels between 2015-2017.”
“It is important to continue using water wisely,” the report said.
There is no immediate cause for concern about water security in Cape Town. However, it is the responsible step to take now for Cape Town to collectively aim not to exceed a target of 950 millions of litres per day (MLD) to lower the risk of restrictions at a later stage.
The report showed that the six major dams in the Western Cape province – the Berg River, Steenbras Lower, Steenberg Upper, Theewaterskloof, Voelvlei and Wemmershoek – have a combined 65 percent of total storage capacity, down from 91 percent during the corresponding period in 2022.
The dam level was pegged at 67.7 percent last week.
The province’s two largest dams, Theewaterskloof and Voelvlei, currently have water equivalent to 61.7 and 51.2 percent of capacity, respectively.
The threat of water shortages raises the spectre of the 2017-2018 crisis when Cape Town residents had to endure dry taps for several months – the so-called “Day Zero” water crisis.