The South African

Theewaterskloof Dam in the Western Cape 98.5% full


The Theewaterskloof Dam in the Western Cape is currently flourishing after buckets of rainfall. A few months ago, the dam was looking bleak, recording a 9% figure. As of 25 September, it’s almost full which definitely comes as good news. 


On Friday 25 September, the City of Cape Town updated its figures for all the dams in the Western Cape. The Theewaterskloof dam, near Villiersdorp is the largest dam in the province so if it’s doing well, chances are, the other dams follow suit. 

The dams in and around Cape Town form part of the Western Cape Water Supply System, which is an integrated and collectively managed system of dams, pump stations, pipelines, and tunnels. In addition to servicing Cape Town, the system supplies water to towns in the Overberg, Boland, West Coast, and Swartland areas, and provides irrigation water for agriculture. 

On Friday, the City of Cape Town recorded the Theewaterskloof Dam as having a capacity of 480 188 MI when full and said it is currently at 98.5% full. This was also recorded before a night of more rain, which means there could be a higher recording on Saturday. 

The Berg River, Steenbras Lower both clocked in at 100% full, while Steenbras upper, Voelvlei, and Wemmershoek recorded capacity of more than 96%. 

In the space of 33 months, the Theewaterskloof Dam has gone from being 9% full to 98.5% full.


The South African contacted Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau. When asked if the dam is indeed overflowing, Ratau said “it’s not overflowing”. 

“That is not the dam overflowing, it’s just how the dam operates. The action is called spilling, allowed for by the design” said Sputnik. 

Nevertheless, the department is extremely pleased. 

“The department is happy at the state of the dam considering the difficulty over the last few years. This is good for the Western Cape Water Supply System,” said Ratau. 

Despite the good news, Ratau said this does not mean there can be an abuse of the resource. “The country is still water scarce,” added Ratau. 

Images of the Theewaterskloof Dam and its progress were recently mapped by the European Space Agency (ESA) and shared by the AfriWX group. If you’d like to see the progress from 2017 to 2020, you can take a look here. 


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