Day 199 – Theewaterskloof revisited

It’s was 980 days ago that we went out to Theewaterskloof Dam to see for ourselves just how bad the drought facing Cape Town actually was.

Here’s my post from the day. And here are the images I took.

Today, we went back to Theewaterskloof Dam. And wow. What a difference a day 980 days makes.

Compare this from February 2018…

…with this from this morning:

Quite chuffed how close I managed to get those two images, given that it has been 2½ years and given that the place (thankfully) looks completely different.

Cape Town will always be threatened with water shortages, given the twin issues of rapid population growth and global climate change, but this is about as good as things could be and it was a truly heartening sight.

And yes, everyone knows that the dams are back up to 100% – I didn’t need to personally go out there and take this image to prove it. But we need these little wins right now, and this comparison very much fits that agenda.

I couldn’t get the drone up – the wind was blowing like a overenthusiastic lady on Kenilworth Main Road – but there will be more photos to follow.

I’ll let you know.

UPDATE: Here you go: photos.

Level 3 Water Restrictions For Cape Town

Yep. “Just” 11 months after putting the Level 2 water restrictions in place, and with a disappointingly dry winter behind us, the City’s Mayco has approved the implementation of Level 3 restrictions from 1st November 2016. That’s because you and I haven’t saved enough water this year.
Victim-blaming hat on:

Cape Town residents as a whole did not achieve the consistent 10% reduction in water use that was mandated from 1 January 2016. If we continue to use water as we did on Level 2 restrictions over the coming summer months, the dams are at risk of falling to 15% by the end of the summer period. Following on, if we experience poor rainfall next rainy season, we could find our dams at approximately 50% this time next year.

The dam levels have slipped slightly again this week – their second successive weekly fall, and although it’s not by much, it’s still not by much the wrong way. Unless something dramatic happens, our “high” at the end of winter will have been a worrying 62.5%.

Chez 6000, we’ve already been washing with a bucket on the shower floor to collect the “spare” grey water, which then goes on the garden each morning. But apparently it’s simply not been enough.
“SO MANY BUCKETS THOUGH!!!!” he wailed.

In basic terms, what these means is that the more water you use, the more you will pay – at higher tariffs too, but if you can reduce your usage by 20%, you should pay no more than you are already paying (but for less water, obviously).
Oh – and there are some other really important additional new rules too:

 – Watering/irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only if using a bucket or watering container. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed.

– Cars and boats may only be washed with water from buckets.

– Manual topping up of swimming pools is allowed only if pools are fitted with a pool cover. No automatic top-up systems are allowed.

– No portable play pools are permitted to be used.

What remains to be seen is whether any of this will be policed or whether the city will simply rely on those higher bills to deter excessive water usage. Since that approach evidently didn’t work on the Level 2 restrictions, I wonder if they will actually be doing something about people not obeying the rules this summer?

More than half

Good news from Cape Town’s previously much maligned dams this week as the latest figures, released a few moments ago (we can like to bring you the good news first), show that we now have 53.7% fillage:

Fullscreen capture 2016-08-01 024803 PM.bmp

That means that we’re some 10% better off than a fortnight ago, not least because of the deluge that hit us last Tuesday.

Woo hoo! *turns on all the taps*

We’re still well short of the (at least) 75% we’d like to see as a minimum by the end of winter, though.

Ah. *turns all taps off again*

However, at this rate, given another 4 weeks of reasonable winter weather, we might just make it. And there’s another hefty bunch of moisture coming through tomorrow evening already, with Windguru predicting almost an inch of quickfire precipitation over Cape Town in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Add to that the inexorable season creep that seems to have befallen the Western Cape in the last decade, and we’ve probably got another few weeks after that as well.

Be reminded that the ever-so-well-enforced Level 2 water restrictions still remain in force though.