The City of Cape Town has reported that dam levels have improved slightly over the last week, and have passed the 60% mark for the first time since 2016.
Over the past week, dam levels increased by 1.3% to 60.1% of storage capacity. The average water consumption over the past week however rose from 519 million to 527 million litres per day.
The City of Cape Town has said it is encouraged by the milestone that has been reached, and went on to thank its water users for continuing to use as little water as possible in an effort to preserve the water in the region’s dams.
“This remains a priority to ensure that we build a buffer against the summer months ahead,” read the statement.
Dams will take time to recover, especially as rainfall has been low during July and August, according to the City of Cape Town, adding: “We are thankful for the rainfall over the weekend, However, rainfall for July and August remains drastically lower than the long-term advantage.”
Water restrictions are still in place, according to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. “However, visitors will not be inconvenienced, but rather amazed at how little water one needs per day, and how much a large city can save.”
The City’s Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson says: “Water restrictions and the associated tariffs are also helping to preserve the water that we have in our dams. The National Department of Water and Sanitation will again meet soon with stakeholders to assess the winter rainfall situation. Given the low rainfall, it is believed that the National Government will maintain a conservative assessment and that the current water restriction and associated tariffs will thus continue to remain in place until the appropriate time.”
Limberg said Cape Town’s water conservation effort was becoming a tourist draw-card in its own right, and the City had been lauded internationally for what it had managed to achieve in order to get through this drought by halving its daily water consumption in just two years.
Furthermore, Limberg said many in the hospitality industry had become true water ambassadors, with innovative ways to use less water while at the same time providing top guest experiences.
“Some tourist surveys and anecdotal evidence have shown that tourists have had a great time in Cape Town despite the drought and that it has not negatively affected their stay,” added Limberg.
Limberg encourages tourists to continue visiting the City, as throughout the drought, Cape Town has remained open for business.
Limberg believes Cape Town is leading the way in terms of water-wise tourism. “We have achieved what no other large city in the world has been able to do thus far.”