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South Africa: DWS continues to monitor water situation amid heavy rainfall in Western Cape

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) which is comprised of six largest dams in the Western Cape Province has reached 90% capacity

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PRETORIA, South Africa, June 20, 2023/ — The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) wishes to update citizens on the latest water situation in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) which is comprised of six largest dams in the Western Cape Province has reached 90% capacity. This is based on the hydrological report of released yesterday, 19 June 2023. The last time these dam levels were seen at this condition was in June 2014.

In comparison, Theewaterskloof dam sits comfortably at 96%, compared to 76, 67% last year, edging close to 100%. The Olifants/Doorn River Catchment on the West Coast of the Western Cape has increased by more than 40% compared to last week.

Over the past week, 17 dams, including Karee, Misverstand, Ceres and Brandvlei, saw an increase of more than 5%. No recorded decrease in dams’ levels this week

According to DWS Western Cape Provincial Head, Ntombizanele Bila-Mupariwa, while rains are welcome, they have left many communities devastated, especially those living in informal settlements. Two people are reported to have lost their lives because of flooding, which is regrettable.

“Besides localised flooding near the construction site of the Clanwilliam Dam wall, there are no immediate reports of infrastructure damage (gauging stations, dams etc). The Clanwilliam Dam Construction Site Office is established well above the floodline and Full Supply Level and thus remains undamaged. However, the foreman’s office and eight containers (that were emptied) were washed away due to the unexpected high flows. The work on the dam apron surface will now be delayed until the dam stop spilling. In the meantime, other critical path activities such as quarry development and embankment work will continue,” said Ms Bila- Mupariwa.

So far, the heavy rains have not interrupted or intermittently disrupted water supplies. Bila-Mupariwa further stated that the department is currently auditing infrastructure to ascertain if any damages, and a comprehensive report will be issued on various platforms in due course.

“While we are happy with the dam level storages across the Western Cape, we remind all water users that most of the rainfall took place during the winter, which is stored and used during the dry and hot summer months of the Western Cape,” said Bila-Mupariwa. For this reason, all water users are urged to use water sparingly

South Africa Weather Services has issued another warning of heavy rains this week and residents are advised to take precautions.

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