Water Wednesday: Cape Town to push drought levy as Day Zero looms

The Democratic Alliance in Cape Town has pushed for a drought levy to be imposed according to property value in Cape Town. This levy, set to take effect in February 2018, will be used to raise funds for water projects around Cape Town until 2021.

Opposition parties have spoken out against such action criticising the City of Cape Town’s late response to the water crisis, which was outlined in the early 2000s by The South African Weather Services.

Meanwhile the residents of Cape Town used less water this week compared with last week, but consumption still remains above 500 million litres a day. As a result, dam levels dropped by an expected 1% this week and Day Zero remains at 20 May 2018. High consumption of more than half of Cape Town’s residents remains a concern.


The City’s water dashboard highlights are as follows:

  • This week’s dam levels stand at 34% – down from 35% the week before
  • Only 25.1% of the water is useable
  • Collective consumption remains high at 611 million litres per day – 111 million litres above the target of 500 million litres
  • The percentage of households using less than 87 litres per day increased to 40% for the week – up from 36% last week
  • In terms of the City’ progress with its augmentation projects, this figure stands at 50%, up from 48% last week
  • Together, these factors put Day Zero at 20 May 2017. If water savings had increased, they could have pushed Day Zero further back.

The City of Cape Town has also been criticised for not taking serious measures against industries and retail outlets that produce bottled water, which comes from the same dams.

Here is a table showing the different retail outlets and where their water comes from:

Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 86%.

The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 34%.

Here are the 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.

Caxton Central

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Water Wednesday: Cape Town Day Zero has moved to May 2018

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