Trouble in Cape Town Part 2: When Will the Drought End?
As of 31 May, level 4 water restrictions were put into place in Cape Town due to the worst drought the Western Cape has seen in decades. That means we are limited to using only 100 litres of water per day. Sounds like a lot of water? A hundred litres is equivalent to only showering for 2 minutes a day, flushing the toilet only 3 to 5 times in a day and using grey-water wherever possible. Also, residents were advised to keep in reserve between 2 to 5 litres of drinking water as water pressure was further reduced. The result being some areas going without water for hours at a time.
For weeks we have been concerned about the quality of water that comes from our taps as some regions were advised to first boil water before drinking it. We are told that the lower the dam levels the muddier the water becomes and the more chemicals need to be added which could have adverse effects on some.
So what do the dams look like?
Watch here a short clip comprised by The City of Cape Town showing images of our dam’s low levels.
Some rain on the way?
On the evening of Saturday 3 June we finally received some moderate rainfall. This is much needed as our dam’s usable water levels are below 10%. Captonians arrived home, soaked through but smiling- the rain was finally here! There is also a forecast for a storm to hit Cape Town by Wednesday 7 June which can bring rain of up to 80 millimetres.
I found myself walking outside in the wind and rain, and loving it! For too long were we subject to clear skies during the night which brought low temperatures at night and moderate temperatures throughout the day. Perhaps the winter is finally here and I can fall asleep listening to howling winds and pouring rain.Cape Town is my home and with it comes certain expectations. We want sunny summers with “braais” on the weekends, and long winters with weeks of rain.
We have one of the most scenic tourist destinations right on our doorstep but all that is at risk. With this drought also comes jobs losses as farmers reduce the number of seasonal workers required to bring in the harvest.
Do we still believe Global Warming and Climate Change is a myth? I sincerely hope not!
My question is this: How long will it take for the Western Cape to fully recover from this drought and will our weather patterns ever return to normal again?