Haunting Photos Show Cape Town Gripped by Drought Crisis (About 100 Days of Water Left)

Despite the stunning pictures of the storm over Cape Town on Monday night, the clouds brought only enough rainfall to fuel hope that winter rains are on their way, but not enough to soak the soil and fill the dams.

drought cape town

drought cape town

drought cape town


With today – Wednesday 22 March 2017 – being World Water Day, photographer JON KERRIN captured these photos

“Heaven knows Cape Town needs to become more water conscious and save as much water as we possibly can,” he says. “I shot these images at the Theewaterskloof Dam, and man oh man is it low!

drought cape town

“Actually being there to see it makes it hit home a lot harder.”

drought cape town

On Monday the City of Cape Town announced the dam levels have dropped to 28.6% – a 1.4% drop from the week before… which actually means there’s only 18.6% of useable water left (the last 10% can not be used).

drought cape town

In a news release, the City said this meant only 103 days of useable water left. That’s 101 days today.

While thanking those who have found ways to save water, the City said unfortunately consumption overall – because of some – continues to surpass the target of 700 million litres per day. Last week consumption was over 750 million per day.

drought cape town

“We are in the midst of one of our worst droughts of the past century. Cape Town is in a water-scarce region and is experiencing the impacts of climate change with an increased frequency of drought events,” said the statement.

drought cape town

In order to accelerate various small-scale emergency water supply schemes, earlier this month the Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, declared a local state of disaster.

drought cape town

The declaration of a disaster, she said, is an essential step to assist in management and control of the current severe drought and resulting water crisis.

drought cape town

Possible emergency supply schemes include:

  • Emergency drilling of boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer (TMGA) with a yield of approximately 2 million litres per day
  • A small-scale desalination package plant, located along Cape Town’s north-western coastline with a yield of approximately 2 million litres per day
  • Intensifying the City’s Pressure Management and Water Demand Management programmes to further reduce water demand

drought cape town

drought cape town

Jon says: “WE NEED TO SAVE WATER!!! Please SHARE this post to spread the word and make people more water conscious. #watercrisis #capetown #lovecapetown #drought Love Cape Town City of Cape Town SA-People – for South Africans in South Africa and expats #WorldWaterDay.”

All photos on this page © Jon Kerrin and republished here with his kind permission. 

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Jon Kerrin Photography: www.facebook.com/jonkerrinphotography

Cape Town Water Info: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater

Watch aerial footage of water levels at Theewaterskloof Dam

This drone footage, filmed by helicopter pilot Stephan Myburgh, compares the difference between when the dam’s water level was at 52% in November 2016… compared to how it looked on 17 March 2017… at just 27% full.