Water Wednesday: Cape Town dam levels are rising thanks to the rain

The South African Weather Service issued a warning of extremely cold temperatures across the country this week with possible flooding in parts of the Western Cape. Cape Town experienced much-needed rain, but the heavy downpour caused a number of roads to be flooded.

Flooding has occurred due to the water being prevented from entering the gully, which is the entry point into the stormwater system as a result of obstructions at the mouth of the catch-pit. This could be caused by loose debris on the road surface that had landed in the opening of the gully causing a blockage. One of the other causes of blockages is debris that is dumped into stormwater infrastructure.

Areas that are normally hit the hardest are areas that are close to a floodplain or within the floodplain. This is often the case for some informal settlements. Other areas where excessive dumping into the stormwater infrastructure occurs are also prone to flooding.

The City of Cape Town said that they are currently assessing the data to be able to identify problem areas.

This week, the dam levels saw a steady rise with the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) being recorded at 48.33% as compared to 42.33% last week.

The largest dam in the system, Theewaterskloof Dam, rose to 34.15% compared to 19.24% at the same time last year. Misverstand dam on the West Coast is at 157.38; Voëlvlei has also improved to 44.66% from 36.27 the previous week. The Clanwilliam dam on the West Coast is also showing an improvement from 57.46% last week to 67.69 this week. The total storage for Western Cape dams is 41.6%.

Collective water usage in Cape Town is at a record low of 481 million litres per day.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 100.3%.
  • The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 41.6%.
  • The KwaZulu-Natal Dam System is at 64.9% this week while Eastern Cape Dam System sits at 63.9%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.


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