Cape Town’s dams are on their way back to their level of three years ago.
Readings on Monday put them at 42.7%‚ just 10 percentage points lower than at this time in 2015. They increased by 4.6 percentage points in the last week.
Low winter rainfall for the last three years produced a crisis that saw Cape Town flirt with having to turn off the taps. But with dam levels almost twice what they were a year ago‚ the short-term crisis is over.
Speaking at the Water Institute of Southern Africa conference in Cape Town on Monday‚ deputy mayor Ian Neilson said the end of the 50-litre-a-day limit was near.
“While we hope at some point in the near future to be in a position to relax these restrictions‚ we cannot afford to return to our previous levels of consumption‚” he said.
Monday’s dam levels compare with 24.3% at this time last year‚ 35.7% in 2016 and 52.8% in 2015. At this time in 2014‚ dam levels were at 94.2%.
The city’s eight minor dams are 100.3% full‚ compared with 86% a week ago.
Rainfall in most catchment areas is still below the long-term average for June. But the Wemmershoek catchment has had 216mm (long-term average 181mm) and Voelvlei has had 163mm (108mm).
Capetonians used 527 million litres of water a day last week‚ above the target of 450 million litres.