Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

Cape Town dams: Here’s how much water levels have increased in 2019

The woes of the Western Cape have been eased for the most part. Here’s the epic journey the Cape Town dam levels went on through 2019.

cape town dams heres how much water levels have increased in 2019 - Cape Town dams: Here’s how much water levels have increased in 2019

Although the Cape Town dam levels lost 1.5% of their combined total water volumes this week, the picture still seems quite rosy for a city under the persistent threat of drought. As of Tuesday 3 December, the facilities are 81.16% full – and it’s a much better total than what was in the coffers this time last year.

Latest Cape Town dam levels for December 2019

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Cape Town dam levels for December 2019 – Photo: Western Cape Government
  • Voëlvlei dam – 86.7% full this week (2018: 89.5%. Last week: 88.2%).
  • Berg River dam – 97.3% full this week (2018: 95%. Last week: 98.6%).
  • Theewaterskloof dam – 72.5% full this week (2018: 54.4%. Last week: 74%).
  • Clanwilliam dam – 80.8%. (2018: 84.5%. Last week: 84.7%).

How the Cape Town dam levels have performed in 2019 – key dates:

  • February: The biggest monthly drop came after a brutal spell of dry, hot weather.
  • July: Bursts of rain and intense storms dragged the Cape Town dam levels up to new heights
  • August-September: Occasional showers and warm weather ensured a deadlock in the average level.
  • December: Cape Town is officially 11.5% better off than it was at the start of the year.
Month % full Monthly change
January 69.7% Down 0.5%
February 60.4% Down 9.4%
March 55.9% Down 4.5%
April 51.8% Down 4.1%
May 46.7% Down 5.1%
June 49.8% Up 3.1%
July 71.9% Up 22.1%
August 81.7% Up 9.8%
September 81.7% Same
October 82.9% Up 1.2%
November 82.6% Down 0.3%
December 81.2% Down 1.4%

What the future holds

Anton Bredell is the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape. This week, he gave us a holistic view of the situation facing the Cape Town dam levels. Despite recent improvements, the Mother City is one of many locations on this planet facing intense “water stress”:

“Ours is not a unique situation. Globally less than 3% of all of the available water is fresh, and much of it is inaccessible. Recent academic reports have found that since 1960, the amount of available fresh water per person on Earth has declined by more than half, with +40% of the world’s population facing water stress.”

“By 2030 the expected demand for fresh water will exceed supply by an estimated 40%. We are still studying the full plan before we can make specific comments on the impact thereof for the Western Cape.”

Anton Bredell

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