The latest info about Cape Towns water crisis

Posted by Erwin Scholman on

The facts and figures about the water crisis in Cape Town

The water crisis in Cape town is becoming more and more dangerous. Time for a few facts and figures about the crisis and some solutitions to solve this big problem.

The dams

There are six major dams in Cape Town; Berg River, Steenbras Lower, Steenbras Upper, Theewaterskloof, Voëvlei, and Wemmershoek. These holds 99.6% of the city’s water capacity, with eight smaller dams, mostly on Table Mountain, responsible for a mere 0.4%. Theewaterskloof is the largest of the six major dams, with a total capacity of 480,188 megalitres. It is responsible for storing more than half of Cape Town’s surface water supply.

As of Monday 15 May, the level of Theewaterskloof was just 15.7%, compared to close to 31.3% at the same time last year, 51.3% in 2015, and 74.5% in 2014. Across the six dams the levels were a mere 21.2%, a record low.

Theewaterskloof on 15-5-17

The Berg River Dam is the third largest dam supplying the city, behind Theewaterskloof and Voëlvlei. The dam was at 33% of capacity last week, higher than the 27% this time last year, but much lower than the 54% level in 2015, and 90.5% in 2014.

Though the dam wall currently stores more than 42,000 megalitres of water, parts of the reservoir are dry. In areas of the dam higher up, people are able to walk across the reservoir from one bank to another. There is no sign of plant or animal life at the dam and the earth was cracked in places due to arid conditions.

What’s causing the water crisis?

Population growing faster than storage

Since 1995 the city’s population has grown 55%, from about 2.4 million to an expected 4.3 million in 2018. Over the same period dam storage has increased by only 15%.

The Berg River Dam, which began storing water in 2007, has been Cape Town’s only significant addition to water storage infrastructure since 1995. It’s 130,000 megalitre capacity is over 14% of the 898,000 megalitres that can be held in Cape Town’s large dams. Had it not been for good water consumption management by the City, the current crisis could have hit much earlier.


There is not one single solution available to solve the problem. The biggest thing is that it is not possible to create water on a big scale. The only sollution is a lot of rainfall but thats someting out of our control. Everyone is part of the solurtion now. everyone has to watch the use of water and make sure that nobody waste his water and make sure you use as less as possible



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