As Cape Town Dam Levels Drop to 20%, Residents Get Flood WarningBy
Drought-hit city warned to prepare for deluge later Monday
Daily water consumption still above 450 million liter target
Cape Town residents were warned to prepare for potential flooding Monday, on the same day that the average level of dams serving the drought-hit city dwindled to just 20 percent.
The South African government’s weather service said flooding is expected in the metropolis and surrounding regions later, moderating overnight. The forecast of heavy rain is in stark contrast with conditions caused by the worst drought on record, which have led to residents being restricted to using 50 liters (13 gallons) of water each a day and told to take 90-second showers.
The level of dams serving South Africa’s second-largest city dropped by 0.9 of a percentage point over the past week, Cape Town authorities said in an updated “Water Dashboard” today, with the last 10 percent in reservoirs difficult to use. While the city has removed for this year the threat of a “Day Zero” when it would turn off the taps, daily consumption remains 57 million liters above the target of 450 million.
Residents will be hoping that Monday’s predicted deluge augurs the start of seasonal winter rains, with above-average downpours needed to replenish supplies. The weather service expects as much as 58 millimeters (2.2 inches) of rain in Cape Town through Sunday, according to its latest forecasts, with a third of that due on Monday.