Cape Town dam levels have increased to 98.2%, Newsline

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town released the dam levels statistics on Tuesday, which showed dam capacity for the Cape Town metro rose from 96.4% to 98.2%.

The total capacity of dams supplying the metro increased to 98.2% between September 14 and September 21, 2020, a 1.8% rise from the previous week.

The City added that water consumption for the same period increased by 19 million litres per day from an average of 647 million litres per day the previous week to 666 million litres per day.

At the same time last year, dam levels were at 82%.

The municipality did add the increasing dam levels over the recent weeks were being taken into account in terms of which water restrictions and tariffs would apply over the summer months.

“The City is currently reviewing tariffs and water restriction levels, in anticipation of the start of the new hydrological year (beginning November). Final decisions will be made in consultation with the National Department of Water and Sanitation who will take the lead in planning for the new year, and the other municipalities and irrigation boards with whom the City shares the dams,” said Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg.

“In the meantime we want to thank residents and businesses for the role they have played in allowing dams to recover, including both saving water and paying their accounts on time, as this is key to providing and maintaining a sustainable, reliable water service for all.”

With dams close to full, the City of Cape Town has been fielding numerous queries around what this means in terms of water restrictions, and especially water tariffs.

Cape Town dam levels have increased to 98.2%, Newsline
A infographic supplied by the City of Cape Town on how the cost of its water.

The City said that in summary:

  • The City does not budget for profit/surplus from the sale of water and seeks to keep costs of service delivery as low as possible.
  • Tariffs are currently on the second lowest level, Level 1 and are much lower than during the peak of the drought. Lowering of tariffs is currently being considered, but this should not be at the risk of significant revenue deficit. The lowest tariff level, being the no restriction, water-wise tariff, is currently being considered for implementation. It is slightly lower than current Level 1 tariffs.
  • The Fixed Basic Charge is to remain in place. This charge is not a penalty or a surcharge. It is part of the total tariff structure and helps to pay for water services. It remains in place to help cover the cost of water provision.
  • Residents who are registered as indigent are exempt from paying the fixed basic charge portion of the water tariff, and continue to receive an allocation of free water.

For more information on new water sources, water restrictions (Level 1 currently in place), guidelines around alternative water sources such as boreholes and rainwater tanks, as well as tariff information visit – www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater.

More information about the City’s Water Strategy can be found here: http://www.capetown.gov.za/general/cape-town-water-strategy

Cape Argus