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WC seeks long term interventions for water security

Friday, February 17, 2017

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape government says it is looking to curb a possible disaster by implementing long-term interventions for water security.

Government says a study has shown that provincial water demands will exceed the current supply in 2019.

The population in the province is expected to grow by an estimated two million people over the next 15 to 20 years.

Five municipalities in the province have been declared as disaster areas. These are Central Karoo, Witzenberg, Prince Albert, West Coast and Oudtshoorn.

Environmental affairs MEC Anton Bredell says government is looking towards long-term solutions to increase the water supply in the province.

“The Berg River Voelvlei augmentation scheme, which amounts to diverting surplus winter water to the Voelvlei Dam, fast tracking development of the Table Mountain aquifer, waste water treatment at a macro scale and seawater desalination.”

Bredell says the local government department has budgeted over R120 million towards additional interventions to alleviate water stress, which includes R60 million in fodder relief for the agriculture sector.

On Thursday the Department of Water and Sanitation h released a statement saying that dam levels are increasing at a slow place.

It says provincial dam levels have shown some improvements, with more than half showing an increase compared to last week.

• Eastern Cape increased from 56.9% to 58.2%
• Free State increased from 57.2% to 60.8%
• KwaZulu-Natal: slight increase from 47.1% to 47.9%
• Limpopo: up from 66.1% to 66.9%
• Gauteng: decreased from 86.7% to 86.3
• Northern Cape: up from 93.6% to 95%
• North West: noticeable increase from 73.8% to 78.1%
• Mpumalanga: slight decrease from 67.8% to 67.1%
• Western Cape has remained critically low, decreasing from 36.2% last week to 34.9% this week, still under 40%.

The Western Cape System with six dams serving the City of Cape Town was at 36.9% last week but dipped to 35.7% this week. The system was at 43% around this time last year.