Saldanha’s Day Zero was set for 5 days time as water supplies were running critically low. Saldahna gets it water the Miverstand supply dam which, according to Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti, only has enough water to supply the town until 24 April. The Voëlvlei Dam would then have to supply Saldanha, an industrial development zone, in addition to 22 other towns on the West Coast, like Malmesbury, that rely on this water. This supply would only be enough to last until the end of April.

After a plea from Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, the national government stepped in and started releasing water from the Berg River Dam this week in order to prevent depletion of the supply to Saldanha and other West Coast towns. Nkwinti stated that five million cubic metres of water will be released from the Berg River Dam into the Misverstand Dam which would supply Saldanha until the end of July. An emergency operation will pump water from Theewaterskloof Dam to compensate for additional dependance on the Berg River.

Although Day Zero in Cape Town has been delayed until 2019, the Western Cape continues to battle the drought and faces subsequent risks to food security and potential flooding due to the release of large quantities of water from dams.


Watch the water being released from the Berg River Dam below:

From Eye Witness News