Water Wednesday: Severe weather conditions are likely to ease up

The National Disaster Management Advisory Forum (NDMAF) met in Centurion on Thursday, 8 June to discuss matters around the extreme weather conditions and the subsequent devastation caused by them in the Western Cape.

The Forum was pleased to be informed that the severe weather conditions were likely to ease back and the Southern Cape region was highly likely to receive normal rainfall around the third week of June.

South African Weather Service’s (SAWS) Dr Eugene Poolman stated that in relation to the El Nino phenomenon for next summer, the forecasting systems were easing back and the possibility of an El Nino had weakened since the last observation.

Dr Poolman indicated that areas that experienced severe dry conditions were likely to receive normal rainfall between June and mid-August. However, he cautioned that the signals were not strong enough to determine the approximate levels of expected rainfall conditions during mid-winter.

Despite heavy storms in the Western Cape over the past week, the city of Cape Town has warned water users not to increase consumption. Dam storage levels are now at 20 percent. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 11,2%. Consumption remains 15 million litres per day above the target of 600 million litres per day.

After fielding many inquiries from members of the public, the City emphasized that due to the severity of the drought, above-target consumption, as well as the unpredictability of climatic conditions, Level 4 water restrictions remain in place indefinitely over the long-term and could be intensified if warranted.

The Western Cape government has been hard at work after several fires broke out in the greater Knysna area a few days after the storm in Cape Town.

Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 91 percent.

The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week increased to 20 percent.

Here are latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.


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