WATCH: Cape Town's biggest fresh-water dam supply in dire state

2017-01-23 07:29 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - The Mother City's dams are said to have less than 3-months supply of water in hand, with level 3 water restrictions in place.

Over the weekend, hoax WhatsApp messages warning of water supplies being cut off for a few hours on Sunday, were doing the rounds.

'Water cuts not on the cards'

The City of Cape Town has however dismissed these saying it does not know who posted the incorrect information. Although the city is considering implementing level 3b water restrictions as of 1 February, water cuts were not on the cards - Click here to see full details of restrictions

But what does show the severity of the situation is this footage taken by Mille foto and posted to YouTube. The badly dried up Theewaterskloof is the largest dam that serves Cape Town's drinking water supply with about 480 188 Ml capacity, followed by Voelvlei at 164 095 Ml. 

Overall the City's dam capacity is 898 221 Ml, however as of 16 January data indicated that this was only at 42%.

Theewaterskloof dam level at 36.8%

"Since the city's water system is interconnected by a series of pumps, pipelines, and reservoirs, you are probably drinking water from this dam, either directly or indirectly," says the videographer.

"The city's latest figures show the dam level at 36.8%, which means that theoretically the dam could run almost empty by the time 2017 winter rains come. If the rainfall isn't heavy, next year could be even worse."

 

WATCH: What Cape Town's Theewaterskloof Dam looks like at the moment

Want to know how much water you should be saving?

See this interactive map that allows you to check the status of your province and your local dams. This data is provided by the Department of Water and Sanitation. 



Take a look at the most recent figures from the City of Cape Town:

The reading for the week of 16 January 2017 indicates the city's dam storage is at 42.5%. Because each dam size is different, the best indicator of overall dam water levels is the overall percentage stored compared to the total accumulated capacity. 

The city states it tries to update dam levels every week but admits the logistics of gathering the information can be challenging,"We apologise in advance for occasional delays."

Cape Town has three levels of water restrictions:

- Level 1 (10% water savings): Normally in place

- Level 2 (20% water savings): Applicable when dam levels are lower than the norm

- Level 3 (30% water savings): Applicable when dam levels are critically low

Be Water-wise:

"The time to save water is when there is water to save - the city suggests these water-saving tips for throughout your home:   

- Ensure all taps are fully closed and replace tap washers regularly. A dripping tap can waste 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.

- Fit tap aerators to reduce and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.

We typically use the most water in our gardens, especially residents who have large gardens and swimming pools. During level 3 water restrictions, no watering of gardens is allowed - unless you have well-point or borehole access.  

- Use a broom to clean paved areas. Hosing down paved areas wastes water and is illegal in Cape Town.

- Wash your vehicle using a bucket of water and limit spraying with a hosepipe.

- Plant water-wise plants and limit the size of your lawn area.

- Mulch flowerbeds to help retain moisture in the soil for longer.

Water saving tips for your kitchen:

- Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.

- Rinse dishes and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.

- Reuse rinse water for the next cycle of washing up.

- Thaw frozen foods in the fridge at room temperature, in a basin of water, or in a microwave rather than placing them under running water.

- When using taps, don’t let the water run down the drain while waiting for the hot water or for the water to cool. Rather collect the water in a bottle.

Water saving tips for your bathroom:

- Close the tap when brushing your teeth.

- Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water.

- Shower rather than bath – a half-filled bath uses 113 litres of water, while a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres.

- Install a water-saving showerhead, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force, and turn off the shower when soaping.

- Reuse bath water in your garden.

- Install a new water-saving toilet.

- Check if your toilet is leaking.

Fix water leaks: Cape Town’s water use is much higher than it could be. This is because of water leaks and wasted water from dripping taps and leaking toilets. By checking for water leaks, you save water and reduce your water bills.

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