The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is pleased to announce the continued progress in the Western Cape Dam storage systems, with water levels showing a significant increase compared to previous years. The hydrological report of 24 July 2023 indicates that the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS), responsible for supplying water to Cape Town and its surrounding areas, is currently at 99.19%, up from 99.03% the previous week. This represents a substantial improvement from last year’s 75.41% water levels.
The overall state of dams in the Western Cape, which combines data from all the dams in the region, is averaging at 89.87%. This marks a notable increase from the same period last year when the average was at 77.17%. The current levels are reminiscent of those observed in 2014, following heavy rainfall and localized flooding.
One of the critical catchment areas, the Gouritz River Catchment, covering Little, Central Karoo, and the Coastal belt of the Southern Cape, is now sitting at 79.93%. This comes as a relief, considering that the catchment had been struggling with water levels below 50% for the past five years.
Of particular significance is the Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the Western Cape and accounting for 54% of the Western Cape Water Supply System Dams. It is currently spilling at an impressive 102%, indicating a healthy yield. The ample water supply from this dam plays a vital role in meeting the region’s water demands.
Mr. Malusi Rayi, the DWS Head of Communication in the Western Cape, attributed the increase in water levels to proactive measures taken by releasing water from the Bulshoek Dam to facilitate maintenance activities. Additionally, he highlighted that the Oukloof Dam witnessed a remarkable increase of over 5% during the current week.
While the current dam storage levels are satisfactory, Mr. Rayi emphasized that this should not be an excuse for complacency among water users. He urged all residents and businesses in the region to continue using water sparingly, emphasizing that South Africa remains a water-scarce country.
The improvement in water levels is a positive development for the region, especially in light of the challenges posed by droughts in recent years. Adequate water supply is essential for various sectors, including agriculture, industry, and households, and plays a crucial role in ensuring overall economic stability.
In conclusion, the National Department of Water and Sanitation is optimistic about the sustained momentum of the upward trend in the Western Cape Dam storage systems. The higher water levels observed this year compared to the previous ones are encouraging signs of progress. However, responsible water usage remains critical, and all stakeholders are urged to continue their efforts in conserving water resources for a sustainable future.