The Berg River Dam, which can hold 14% of Cape Town’s water capacity, is full, so the sluice has been opened. Photo: Nathan Geffen
The Berg River Dam, which can hold 14% of Cape Town’s water capacity, is full, so the sluice has been opened. Photo: Nathan Geffen

In May 2017 we (GroundUp) took photos of Cape Town’s dam levels at the height of the drought. This is what the Berg River looked like then:

Berg River Dam in May 2017. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks
Berg River Dam in May 2017. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

And this is what it looked like on Saturday:

The dam is full and water is being released through a sluice gate. Photo: Faizel Slamang
The dam is full and water is being released through a sluice gate. Photo: Faizel Slamang

And below is what Theewaterskloof, which can hold more than half of Cape Town’s water at capacity, looked like in 2017:


Theewaterskloof Dam in May 2017. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks
Theewaterskloof Dam in May 2017. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks
This is a particularly haunting photo from May 2017, showing how the retreating water levels left dying trees behind. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
This is a particularly haunting photo from May 2017, showing how the retreating water levels left dying trees behind. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

It is now 95% full.

Theewaterskloof Dam in September 2020. Photo: Nathan Geffen
Theewaterskloof Dam in September 2020. Photo: Nathan Geffen

As of Monday, the Berg River dam and both Steenbras dams are full. Theewaterskloof, Voëlvlei and Wemmershoek are all well over 90%. The dam levels are at 96% of their total capacity, by far the fullest they have been in at least five years (source: City of Cape Town’s weekly dam report).

Published originally on GroundUp / © 2020 GroundUp