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Western Cape dams only a third full

5th September 2017 BY: News24Wire

The Western Cape's dams are only at an average 33.6% full as the rainy season draws to a close, the province's MEC for Local Government Anton Bredell said on Monday.

At the moment, Theewaterskloof Dam is currently at 26% (2016: 51%); Voëlvlei Dam is at 26% (2016: 65%) and Clanwilliam Dam 38% (2016: 99%).

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The average dam levels for the province at this time last year was 61% full and the average level last week was 32.73%.

The provincial government is currently implementing R295-million worth of emergency measures to prevent ''day zero'' - when there is no water left.

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This includes sinking extra boreholes, tapping aquifers, and helping farmers who are struggling to keep their crops and animals alive.

The City of Cape Town also announced on Sunday that Level 5 water restrictions for the city's residents and businesses will kick in immediately, along with further water pressure management measures.

This time, the focus is on commercial property owners, who the city said needed to bring down water use at offices and businesses.

The upper limit for domestic consumption is still 87 l per person per day, but now households are restricted to a maximum of 20 kl a month (20 000 l).

Plans are also afoot to introduce fines for exceeding that limit.

Residents of Cape Town have been advised to keep an emergency store of between 2 l to 5 l of water for drinking and basic hygiene at all times in case they cannot get enough water out of their taps because the city has reduced pressure.

In the meantime, Bredell's department is collecting data from municipalities in the province to compare their water consumption levels with the restrictions they have in place. The restrictions might have to be increased.

''We are planning ahead with an eye on the coming summer months when demand tends to increase rapidly. We hope this year that demand can be kept down instead,'' said Bredell. 

EDITED BY: News24Wire
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