RAIN across the Western Cape has brought slight relief to the region at a time when the rest of SA is suffering the effects of the worst drought since 1992.
The Western Cape, which gets most of its rainfall in winter, has experienced a cold and wet spell in recent days.
According to the provincial government, the recent showers have increased the levels of some major dams. Including Bulshoek, Clanwilliam and Voëlvlei — across the catchment system by on average 5%.
Dam levels in the province have risen to on average 35.4%, WesternCape Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said on Monday. This time last year, dams were on average 59.2% full.
“Large areas of the province have received much needed rainfall. This has assisted the agriculture sector in those regions to some extent,” he said. “Unfortunately we are not in the clear yet and a lot more rain is still needed to enable dam levels to recover fully for the summer season.”
Dam levels are currently at an average of 35.4% across the province. Compared to 59.2% at the same time last year.
Heavy rains are expected over the mountainous areas of the Cape Metropole, Winelands and Overberg District. A 60% chance of rain was forecast later this week.
Earlier this year, the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre recommended that water restrictions be implemented across the province over winter. Until dam levels had risen to acceptable levels.
Provincial authorities, other stakeholders and experts will hold talks this week to find better water management strategies. And ways of becoming more resilient to drought in the future.