Capetonians have been in good spirits since the release of the weekly dam levels which show that our water resources have finally reached over 50% capacity. This bring about the conversation about lifting water restrictions. And if so, under what conditions?

On Tuesday, the Department of Water and Sanitation said that water restrictions may only be relaxed when the rainy season has concluded, or if dam capacity levels reach 85%.

Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Ian Neilson, had previously said that the City hopes to reduce the current restrictions in the near future, but the decision lies with the National Department.

Speaking to iOL, Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, said that it is still too early to suggest that the current water restrictions be reduced. “The continued monitoring of the rainfall and dam levels might indicate a revision at some point, maybe even earlier than the hydrological cycle,” he said. “Water conservation and relevant water demand management are the first steps towards the required recovery. The restrictions as gazetted by DWS still stand.”

Ratau added that the Department would only review lifting the restrictions after dams reach 85% on a provincial capacity, or as the stipulated hydrological cycle comes to an end towards the tail end of September, or early October.

“While it is true that the recent rains have been a positive sign, as at the determinations of July 2 the provincial average is still only at about 41.5%,” he said.


Daily water levels as of 4/07/2018 (Source: City of Cape Town)

The Deputy Mayor has warned that although the City’s water resource dams are receiving good rain, residents should still save water.

Dam levels may increase even more as run off from melting snow enter the catchment areas.



Picture:  @ReevalSA/Twitter

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.