Level 6B water restrictions will stay exactly where they are, at least until the end of August – this was the outcome of the meeting held on July 20, following several requests to relax the current restrictions.
The regional head of the Water and Sanitation Department, Rashid Khan, said there had been requests from users of the Western Cape Water Supply System, including the City of Cape Town, to reduce the water restrictions now that the provincial dam average sits at 55.8% of storage capacity.
Khan told Cape Business News, after a high-level meeting on Friday to discuss the possibility of relaxing the restrictions, that the pace at which the Western Cape supply dams had been filling up was encouraging – but it was “nowhere near 85% where the restrictions can be lifted as per the Gazette of October 2017 and January 2018”.
He confirmed that the restrictions will remain in place for Cape Town, surrounding towns and agricultural areas.
“Although the system’s storage has recovered over the past weeks, rainfall trends for this season still do not show that we have received above average amounts cumulatively,” Khan said.
“The current water restrictions will remain as they are until the next meeting with water users in August. The rainfall trend up to that date will show the increase or decrease in the management of water restrictions,” he said.
This time last year, the average provincial dam capacity sat at 26% – just under half the 55.8% it is today. Dam recovery has been on the rise and rainy days are still expected for the coming weeks in July as well.