The City of Cape Town is rejoicing after its dam levels reached a staggering 100.8%.
In a statement released by the city council, it said the dams supplying the Cape Town metro increased from 99.5% to 100.8% capacity between September 28 and October 4.
Water consumption increased by 9 million litres per day to 660 million litres per day the previous week.
At this same time last year, the dam levels were at 81.9%.
This comes as a victory as the City of Cape Town had fears of “Day Zero” of taps running dry just 18 months ago.
Mayoral committee member for water and waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg, congratulated residents for the “whole-of-society effort”.
Limberg said after six years of waiting for good rains, with a period of scarcity and rationing, seeing the dams reach capacity was a triumph for the City.
“While residents’ recent water savings have been integral to dams reaching this level, we must also acknowledge the groundwork which was done in the years before the Day Zero scare.
“Before the brush with Day Zero, we had already achieved great success in building resilience through the implementation of the water demand management policies since the early 2000s.
“Five years ago, just before the Day Zero scare, the City’s water demand management programme was internationally recognised for its success in adapting to climate change, winning the Adaptation Implementation category at the 2015 C40 Cities awards,” Limberg said.
With regards to water restrictions and tariffs, she said a decision in that regard will be mindful of residents’ praiseworthy relationship with water and the City will find arrangements most beneficial to residents and sustainable for water security.
Limberg also stated consultations around the appropriate tariffs and restrictions for the 2020/21 hydrological year (which runs from November 1 to October 31) are taking place.
She said tariffs are on the second lowest level possible in terms of the City’s 2020/21 budget and have come down significantly during the peak of the drought.
“The no restriction, water-wise tariff which is under consideration, will provide some relief if implemented, but the possibility of tariff relief must be balanced against the extra funds needed to build additional resilience against climate change by investing in future water sources.
“We must also take into account the projected increase of the proportion of residents needing indigent support, in part due to the deteriorated national economic climate,” Limberg added.
Executive mayor Dan Plato said Capetonians need to continue being mindful of climate uncertainty.
He said residents can in the short term begin to relax water-saving efforts in good conscience due to the significant increase in dam levels.
“Should residents be comfortable enough to relax savings efforts, the related increased consumption levels will assist the City to cover costs while lowering water tariffs from the current second lowest tariff level, to the lowest, no restriction, water-wise tariff,” Plato said.