Water­falls off the berg, as well as rain­fall in catch­ment ar­eas, could help break the drought

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

set over the next week, we can only hope the mo­men­tum con­tin­ues.

The ground is wet, and we’re now into that mid-win­ter spell with snow melt run-off, old rain run-off and new rain run-off slowly fill­ing up our water sup­ply, inch by inch.

Walk­ing on the moun­tain above the south­ern sub­urbs im­me­di­ately af­ter the last rain had ended this week, I was struck by the ve­loc­ity and vol­ume of the water. It was in­cred­i­ble. The roar of water­falls was deaf­en­ing, and cas­cad­ing water was rush­ing right over the road in places.

In my mind’s eye, I saw 10 000 litre JoJo tanks fill­ing up ev­ery few sec­onds and rolling into the sub­urbs. I sat watch­ing one of the streams, and made a wist­ful cal­cu­la­tion based on a very un­sci­en­tific ob­ser­va­tion. I fig­ured the flow was 10 000 litres ev­ery five sec­onds.

That’s 173 mil­lion litres a day. Say that was the net out­flow over three days, with dwin­dling re­turn over the next few days.

Any­way, by my cal­cu­la­tion, I called it a to­tal of four days, which is 691 mil­lion litres. Now, lets say there are 20 such kloofs just around Ta­ble Moun­tain where the water rushes.

That is 13 824 mil­lion litres –and I think that is con­ser­va­tive – that poured off the moun­tain.

To put that in per­spec­tive, that’s 20 days of water for Cape Town. I don’t know if it’s worth try­ing to har­vest this water, but it’s worth think­ing about.

At worst, a large por­tion goes out to sea. At best, the aquifer is some­what re­plen­ished. Twelve surfers from the big­gest coun­try in South Amer­ica ad­vanced to the last 64 of the Volk­swa­gen SA Open of Surf­ing pre­sented by Hur­ley in small wind-blown waves at New Pier. With the 14 Brazil­ians seeded di­rectly to the Round of 64, they have 26 surf- ers in Round 4 of the event. Seems like my hash­tag – which I had flip­pantly added to a storm fore­cast video I posted on YouTube five days be­fore the big storm – trended for a while in Cape Town as the storm ap­proached. The term is a South African appropriation, in case you don’t know what Dik means, to the cult surf­ing movie Big Wed­nes­day. A bat­tle be­tween Aus­tralian Matt Wilkin­son and rookie com­pa­triot Con­nor O’Leary in clean 4-5’ surf at Cloud­break saw Wilko even­tu­ally take the Outer­known Fiji Pro, which el­e­vates him to #1 in the rank­ings, leapfrog­ging Hawai­ian John John Florence and Jordy Smith, who slips to third. The WSL Spe­cial­ity Long­board event at the Tiger’s Milk Win­ter Clas­sic last week went with the form book as for­mer ISA World Cham­pi­ons Matthew Moir and Si­mone Robb won. Moir and Robb showed their class in tiny Muizen­berg surf on Sun­day, a far cry from the gi­ant surf a few days be­fore. A big win­ter swell hits to­day, with 8- 10ft surf, and solid 12ft sets on deep­wa­ter reefs. A short cold front brings a messy SW breeze, stiff early, but eas­ing. Rain show­ers be­gan be­tween 4am and 6am this morn­ing. Muizen­berg looks sideshore 3’ and grey. By to­mor­row, it’s clear­ing and clean SE breezes brush back a solid 6-8’ groundswell. Muizen­berg looks bumpy in a light onshore and 2-3’ surf.

CLASS ACT: Aus­tralian Con­ner O’Leary, a rookie on the world tour, nar­rowly lost the Outer­known Fiji Pro to com­pa­triot Owen Wilkin­son this week.

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