8.7% up!

The numbers are in, and Cape Towns dams are officially 79.2% full. That’s a whole 8.7% fuller than this time last week. And that’s a lot of water. I know you guys like numbers, so I’ll pop the increase right here:

78,145,227,000 litres

That’s almost 80 BILLION litres more water than we had last week. Enough to last us almost 100 days at our current usage (which will obviously spike as soon as it stops raining).
Delicious. Just look at the near exponential increase over the last couple of weeks:

This extra water came almost exclusively from the sky, and a quick look at the rainfall figures shows exactly why we are quite literally ahead of the curve.

It’s the 12th of June, and every single rainfall station is ahead of where it should be for this time. Wynberg has already had an incredible 132% of the average rainfall for the whole month. As I mentioned on Saturday, we recorded almost 10% of our annual rainfall in just 36 hours, and the figures from the City bear that out. (Incidentally, the Wynberg figures are almost exactly (like, to the mm) what my rudimentary apparatus recorded in the back garden, which is a good indication that my apparatus is actually pretty decent.) (I’ve been saying that about my apparatus for years, though.)

Plenty more rain is due as well, with another three cold fronts forecast in the next nine days. My surprisingly accurate weather app is saying another 85mm over that period (compared with the exceptional 140mm we had last week). And while we’ll never forget just how scary the Cape Town drought was back in 2018, I do feel that the local population are getting a little fed up of the cold and damp.

The dams are sitting at their highest June levels since 2014. We do still need more though, with Theewaterskloof – which accounts for more than half the City’s water supply – still only sitting at 77%.

But this is a good news story, and we should be happy.

Dam good news

Cape Town’s dam levels, so often the cause of local panic, have finally risen above the percentages from this time last year. And while last year wasn’t anything to write home about water level-wise, you have to start somewhere, and being almost 41 billion litres ahead of last June is a good place to begin.

Stat attack:
That weekly change of 5.7% represents an incredible increase of 51,200 Ml.
An average of more than 7 billion litres or 2800 Olympic sized swimming pools gained each day.

And with another two cold fronts quite literally just over the horizon, we could even be looking at exceeding the levels from this time in 2021, which would put us in the incredible position of having the highest June dam levels since 2014, when all that nastiness began.

Of course, much like electricity, the best time to save water is when you have water to save, so although a nice long hot shower might be just what you need right now, maybe think of the parched, dry summertime some way ahead, and just limit yourself to a couple of minutes for the greater good.

Or better still, just stand outside for 30 seconds on Wednesday evening. Your call.

Day 522, part 2 – 100%

101.6% in fact.

Yep, this bad boi, which gave us this, dumped 66mm of rain onto our back garden, saved enough to drop into the catchment areas to do this:

So moist.

And that almost 2 months before we managed to get over the 100% mark last year.

Prior to that, the dams were last full in 2014.

We have a very well-pubicised relationship with water supply and dam levels in Cape Town, and while this is obviously very good news, we still need to save water whenever we can, and there are still shedloads of projects continuing to ensure that we don’t (almost) run out again. As described here.

Day 517 – Something to look forward to

Deliciously sunny day today. If you’re wondering how my recovery is going – using the internationally recognised Duvet Cover Hanging Scale – I hung a duvet cover on the washing line and then had to sit down for 10 minutes.
That’s only 5 minutes longer than my pre-Covid levels.

Things are clearly improving.

But you’d better get your washing done quick quick, because tomorrow, this:

Indeed. Winter is not quite over yet.

On the plus side, this will probably (definitely) be enough to top off our dams at 100% ahead of the drier weather which will definitely (probably) be on the way real soon now. We’re currently sitting at 98.8%, with just another 10,427,000,000 litres needed to break that all important 898,221,000,000 litre mark.


Check your gutters and drains. Wrap up warmly. Stay safe.

Regional numbers for reporting emergencies in the Western Cape:

· City of Cape Town – 107 or 021 480 7700 and 080 911 4357

· Overberg – 028 425 1690

· West Coast – 022 433 8700

· Garden Route – 044 805 5071

· Central Karoo – 023 449 8000

· Cape Winelands – 021 886 9244 / 021 887 4446

Day 474 – Happily wet

It’s not quite 3½ years since I took these photos at Theewaterskloof Dam – or what should have been Theewaterskloof Dam, at least.

Back then, we were on the verge of Day Zero, about the be the first big city in the world to run out of water.

Today, Theewaterskloof Dam level stands at 101.1% full. That’s more full than it actually can be. How cool is that?

On the water front, at least, things are looking pretty good:

We don’t need to worry too much about the Steenbras twins, but it would be nice to see Voëlvlei join the vol vlei party (see what I did there?). Probably not, if you’re outside SA, and you’re probably better off for that.

Photos from our few days away are still being processed.
There are almost 1000 of them. It may take a while.