Cape Town drought may bring water restrictions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 Aug 2011

Cape Town may be subjected to water restrictions this summer because August and September are likely to be drier than usual, a climate researcher has warned.

Predicted below average rainfall will bring water restrictions

Peter Johnston, of UCT’s Climate Systems Analysis Group, said there was no need for desperate concern just yet – but this could change if no more winter rain fell.

Traditionally, the province’s dams are full in August and September. However, Johnston said, after the driest July in years, and with below average rainfall predicted for this and next month, water restrictions could become necessary.

The provincial government has urged farmers to store water for the summer months.

Johnston’s colleague, Mark Tadross, said a high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean was keeping storms away from the Western Cape. “We don’t know why (this is happening),” said Tadross. “Of concern is that the dams are well below what they should be (at) this time of the year.”

The regional manager for weather services in the Western and Northern Cape, Antarctica and islands, Johan Stander, said the forecast was dry for the next couple of months. “Because of climate change, adverse conditions will happen more frequently and storms will be more severe.”

Wouter Kriel, the spokesman for Agriculture, and Rural Development MEC Gerrit van Rensburg said:

“We are monitoring the rainfall, but there are no red flags yet. We are advising farmers to fill up their water storage facilities.”

Source: IOL

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