Somewhere in the Mother City, there’s a lucky resident with a magic lamp and two wishes left: The Cape Town dam levels are reaching heights that simply didn’t seem possible last year, and its biggest facility – Theewaterskloof – has rewritten its own destiny with an epic recovery.
Theewaterskloof dam pulls off “a miracle”
As it stands on Monday, the combined total for the water levels in all Cape Town dams stands at 80.6%, smashing through the four-fifths-full mark and rising by 4% from the previous week. Theewaterskloof has also achieved a minor miracle, scaling the iconic 70% mark. The reserve was less than 12% full at one point in 2018.
With figures for the Western Cape yet to be released, the focus is entirely on what the city has achieved. Two of its dams – Berg River and Steenbras Upper – remain over 100% full. Steenbras Lower stands on 98.9%, and another decent bit of rain could give locals a hat-trick of overflowing dams – a luxury few of us would have seen coming before.
The Cape Town dam levels are now 18% more full than they were this time last year. And, with a few weeks of the winter season left to run, there is every chance that another good downpour could push the water levels towards the 90% mark as we head for a dry summer period.
Cape Town dam levels for Monday 12 August
Because each dam size is different, the best indicator of overall dam water levels is the total quantity stored expressed as a percentage. Theewaterskloof’s performance is a general indicator of how the rest of the city will perform, given that it is comfortably the largest facility in the Western Cape.
Western Cape latest news
Anton Bredell is the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning for the Western Cape. He lauded the performance of the local dams, but reminded Capetonians that there will always be a threat of drought following one poor winter spell:
“Some major dams are already 100% full while others like Clanwilliam Dam on the West Coast, have reported a second weekly increase of above 20% for the past week. Two years ago on 7 August 2017 the average dam level for the province was 28%.
“At the same time, the Theewaterskloof dam was only 22% full. Currently, that dam is more than three times that level. The resource will always be under pressure though, and we need to continue with the good practices we have seen.”