South African dam levels see significant increase

Posted by Anita Froneman on 7 July 2021

Several parts of South Africa have received abundant rain in the past months, leading to a significant increase in key dam levels across the country.

The latest average dam level in the Western Cape is 67.8% (2020: 45%) while the latest average level for dams providing water to the City of Cape Town, is 90% (2020: 63%), the Western Cape government said.

Theewaterskloof Dam. Credit: Stellenbosch Municipality

Rainfall in the past week has seen the average level for the province increase from 55% to nearly 68%. Large dams like the Clanwilliam dam has increased from 23.6% to 74% in one week.

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says the past week has seen large volumes of water flowing towards provincial dams.

“Three years ago at this time, the City of Cape Town was at the end of a devastating drought with dam levels low following a threat of a day zero event in the metro. This week the dams providing water to the metro has seen their levels increase from an average of 75% to 90%, an incredible number in a very short period.”

Bredell has urged consumers to continue to use water sparingly despite the fuller dams.

“Water will always be a scarce resource and we must adjust our behaviour change permanently. We need to do more with less. Overall, across the province, we are fortunate to be in the position we are in at the moment but we always need to look ahead and plan for the future. In addition, we remain concerned as always about the Gouritz River catchment area and we hope to see some relief in that region too.”

Major Dam statistics

Voëlvlei dam – 71.7% full this week (2020: 59%. Last week: 61.9%)

Bergriver Dam 101% full this week (2020: 81.9%. Last week: 89.1%).

Theewaterskloof dam – 95.7% full this week (2020: 59.2%. Last week: 79.4%)

Clanwilliam Dam 74.3%. (2020: 29.4%. Last week: 23.6%)

Other dams in the country

The Vanderkloof Dam is located 130 km downstream from Gariep Dam and is fed by the Orange River. It is currently at 99.3% from last week’s 99.9%.

The Department of Water and Sanitation shared some images:



South Africa’s largest dam spilling sometime in February as a result of heavy rains. The dam presently stands at 93.7% from last week’s 93.8%

South Africa’s largest dam, the Gariep was overflowing in February as a result of heavy rains. Presently, it stands at 93.7% full, compared to last week’s 93.8%.

In February this year, the Department also opened several sluice gates at the Vaal Dam. The release of water from the dam was due to heavy river flows from the Upper Vaal, rapidly filling the dam. The dam presently stands at 95.5%.


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