Western Cape drought: 5 images sum up why it's been declared a disaster

2017-03-07 09:37
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Cape Town - As the City of Cape Town managed to drop below the 800 million litre mark for the first time in more than two months, it is never a case of too little too late - but the situation remains dire.

As dam levels have dropped to 31,5%, which is 1,6% down from a week ago, the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, has declared a local disaster in terms of Section 55 of the Disaster Management Act.

The City warns that with the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at approximately 21,5%. Consumption has broken through the 800 million litre barrier for the first time to 783 million litres of collective use per day, but we have still not achieved the new collective usage target of 700 million litres per day. Read more below:

At the current draw-down rate of the dams, we are looking at approximately 113 days of useable water left.

SEE: SA dam levels improve, but Western Cape dams still a concern

On Friday 3 March 2017, a local disaster was duly declared and promulgated in the Provincial Gazette.

This declaration is valid for a period of three months but can be extended on a month-to-month basis by notice in the Gazette. A Council decision is not required. The City may now invoke emergency procurement procedures if required to expedite the emergency and accelerated water resource schemes.

This declaration is not an excuse for our residents not to carry on reducing consumption. There are so many great water ambassadors. Without you, we would have been in more serious trouble. We thank the many residents and businesses who are working with us to save water."

The  City says it is continuously engaging with the top 20 000 users and says those who have not played an active saving role must do so immediately.

Residents can contact the City via email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts) or they can send an SMS to 31373.

To get an idea of how dire the situation is, take a look at these images taken in and around the Western Cape - want to share your images - email info@traveller24.com.

(Theewaterskloof Dam seen from high above the Franschhoek Pass. Photo: Jean Tresfon)

(Lower end of the Franschhoek Pass on the left, and a view of Theewaterskloof Dam looking east. Photo: Jean Tresfon)

(Streenbas dam not looking good either. Photo: Jean Tresfon)

(Berg river dam nestled in the Franschhoek mountains. Photo: Jean Tresfon)

(Threewaterskloof Dam. Photo Sergio Davids)

SEE: #WaterWednesday: 10+ Super-easy tips to save water

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