A year ago the city still faced the prospect of ‘Day Zero’. But now dams feeding Cape Town have recovered tremendously.
In fact, the Western Cape government said that continued good rainfall in the province had seen dam levels across the province reach their highest levels in four years, with a few exceptions.
And as the dam levels continued to improve and some dams reaching full capacity, some are questioning why more dams are not built downstream to capture the excess water.
Dr Kevin Winter of the UCT’s Future Water Institute said it was not that simple and suggested the need to manage the existing dams better.
“I guess we lack the space in our catchments to put another dam in. I can’t think of another area where we could put another large dam in that would be worth it in the long run, in terms of the investment.”
Winter also believed the city should reduce water tariffs at the end of the hydrological year in November.
“If we’re sitting with at least 80% of water by the time we reach October, that would be a good move and it would send the right message that water is being properly managed.”
But the provincial Environmental Affairs Department’s James-Brent Styan reminded residents that they still needed to save water.
“We want to continue to urge people to use water sparingly, the resource will remain under pressure and even while dams are full, we need to allow the entire system, including the groundwater levels, to recover as fast as possible.”