The dams feeding the City of Cape Town are overflowing with water – the highest since the drought that threatened the province from 2015. The City shared the good news on their website on Tuesday, showing that dams are 100.9% full.
Theewaterskloof is the dam that predominantly feeds the city and it is at 101.6% at capacity – a far cry from 2018 when it was 12% full. Of this 12%, 10% was unusable and Cape Town came very close to being the first city in the world to run out of potable water.
The water crisis plagued the province until 2019 when the city experienced the first good rainfall in a four year period.
Reasons for the water crisis were blamed on poor prior planning by the City and an outdated water infrastructure that couldn’t cope with an increasing population. These factors played a strong role in the crisis that brought Cape Town residents to their knees.
Water restrictions, including a shower time of only two minutes and a water map tracking residents who used too much of the precious resource, was put into place. A tax was also added to pay for the additional cost of desalination plants and water infrastructure.
It was a costly lesson to learn but it has considerably reduced the water usage in the Mother City. In 2021, a strong winter rainfall season ensured that dams are at capacity. ‘Day Zero’, when the taps would be turned off and people who have to queue for water at points manned by the National Defence Force, is not a distant memory – but the overflowing dams are definitely a reason to rejoice.