Expect stricter water restrictions soon, minister warns
The Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Minister Anton Bredell, says his department intends to implement more stringent water restrictions provincially, similar to those laid down in the City of Cape Town.
The Western Cape province remains in the grip of the worst drought in decades.
“We have been actively managing the situation - in some areas - since 2010, when the first restrictions were implemented. Over the past two years matters have been escalating and currently we see dams at record low levels for this time of the year, after our usual winter rainfall. Measures enforced
“As gazetted weeks ago, a process of assessment - and implementation - of increased restrictions in all the affected municipalities in the province is nearing an end.
“An announcement will be made soon with regards to suggested restriction levels to be implemented by municipalities. Currently there are restrictions in place across the province, but we believe these restrictions may have to be ramped up significantly in areas where the drought impact is most severe.
“In the event this does not happen, the province will not hesitate to enforce such measures if needed.”
Bredell has thanked the public and private sector for ongoing efforts and assistance to date in curbing water usage, but cautions that with summer looming, demand is set to pick up again.
“We hope this year that demand can be kept down over the hot, dry and busy months and therefore call on all parties to assist in a continued water-savings drive.”
The Wolwedans dam level dropped to 73% last week, down from 73.6% one week earlier. In comparison, the dam level was at 97.4% a year ago.
Dam levels across the province are particularly low. Theewaterskloof is currently at 28% (2016: 51%); Voëlvlei Dam is at 27% (2016: 66%) and Clanwilliam Dam 39.8% (2016: 100%). Brandvlei Dam is 32% (2016: 53%).
The level of the Wolwedans dam last week dropped to 73%, down from 73.6%.