The generous rainfall in July has seen the level of the De Bos dam rise from 38.6% at the end of June to 44% on 29 July. But this good news in not only confined to the Overstrand. The average level of dams in the Western Cape officially pushed past the 70% mark last week, a goal that has not been reached in years.
Both the Berg River and Steenbras lower dams are over the 100% mark and the least full dams in the province are Theewaterskloof which sits at 60.2% and Steenbras lower at 60.4%.
But, said the South African Weather Service as a third cold front in two weeks made landfall on Monday and Tuesday, the cold and rainy weather is not over yet. Another cold front is expected to bring more chilly and rainy weather to our region from Saturday and lasting until Wednesday, 7 August.
According to The Overstrand Municipality’s Deputy Director of Engineering and Planning, Hanré Blignaut, the De Bos dam level is on a par with last year’s level at the end of June. “It is, however, important to note that although the level of the dam is lower than those in other regions of the province, our dependence on water from the dam is lower than in previous years.
“The 10 boreholes currently in use are able to meet 30% of the total demand for water for the Greater Hermanus area. In addition to these boreholes, another two holes being sunk near the Gateway Shopping Centre, will come online within the next few months. This will further reduce our dependence on water from the dam,” he said.
But despite this good news, experts are still warning of the devastating impact global warming is having on our planet. Water in South Africa is an extremely precious and dwindling resource that needs to be protected and used sparingly. Against a global rainfall average of 870mm per year, South Africa receives a pitiful 450mm, making it one of the 30 driest countries in the world.
Hermanus and surrounding areas receive 600mm of rain per year on average, but because of climate change, rainfall patterns in South Africa are changing, and can have a negative effect on the average rainfall in the country and in the Overstrand area. In 2018 Hermanus received a total of 504mm, making it the driest year since 2015, when 466mm was recorded. Thus far this year up to 29 July, 294mm has been measured in town. In the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley some 550mm has been measured to date against an annual average of 820mm.