Capetonians can rejoice in the fact that dam levels are up to 82.9% after the torrential downpour that the Western Cape received over the weekend.

Rainfall is always welcome in the Mother City as the fear of Day Zero still lingers in our minds. As a province we were resilient in saving water. Actions like collecting drinking water, showering in buckets, and re-using the water from our showers to flush toilets all became the norm.

We have all learnt so much about how to save water, the value of this precious resource and how to use it sustainably.

Dam levels as of 28 October 2019. Image: City of Cape Town

While we can be thankful for the incredible rainfall we have received, other provinces in South Africa are not out of the woods.

Gauteng is on the brink of a drought and have declared an official water crisis. South Africa’s Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has announced that water shedding may soon be a reality in Gauteng. According to The South African, intermittent water shedding has already taken place across certain suburbs in Gauteng and the north-east of the country. Some parts have gone almost a week without running water.

In an emergency press conference with Rand Water, Sisulu said that the current high temperatures have greatly impacted the demand on water.

“I have been advised by experts that the earliest rainfall will be experienced in December. There’s is no need to panic. We just all need to be prudent with water. I am aware that my predecessors have been faced with the challenge of drought.”

“I can assure you that as a Department, we are doing our best to adapt to the effects of Climate Change. I do acknowledge that indeed we are facing water scarcity in many parts of the country. I implore you all to use water sparingly. If we all use water sparingly, there won’t be a need for water shedding,” said Sisulu at the press conference.

The drought in the Karoo is dire. Five villages in the Eastern Cape have not had running water for over three months. A water tank was brought in for relief efforts but villagers have said that the tank has also been dry for months.

Capetonians should continue to save water every single day. While our dams are in the safe zone, this does not mean we should throw caution to the wind.

Image: Unsplash

Article written by

Imogen Searra