Cape Town Drought

Cape Town is currently experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades. The interconnected dams, pumps, and reservoirs which make up the city's water supply network are under serious strain. The above map is of Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest capacity dam in the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS).

These photos, taken from Google Earth historical satellite imagery, show the three biggest dams in the Western Cape Water Supply System - Theewaterskloof, Voelvlei, and Berg River. It's easy to see the marked reduction in capacity after almost two years of drought. 

Experts suggest that if winter 2017 is another low rainfall season, the Western Cape (Cape Town specifically) may run out of water capacity from its dams the following year. 

Berg River Dam

Voelvlei Dam

 

While the City of Cape Town has reduced per capita water usage over the last 10 years, current water restrictions are failing to meet targets set out by the local government. Alternative plans to increase water capacity, including tapping the Table Mountain Aquifer and desalinization, are still in a speculative form at this stage. 

Whichever way you cut it, time is running out for the region.