Cape Town's Water Crisis

Monitoring, information, and data about South Africa's worst drought in history

Data courtesy of City of Cape Town. Last updated

Background Information

In 2018, the City of Cape Town experienced its worst drought in over a century. This site was created to make that obvious to everyone.

Thankfully, in 2018 the region had a relatively bountiful rainy season, and the city was able to escape it's "Day Zero" plans for turning off the city's water supply.

Still, the region is stressed. Ultimately, it relies on a limited water supply that is highly subject to seasonal influence. Meanwhile, the population and water consumption continue to grow.

Historical Dam Levels for the Cape Town Region: 2012—Present

The easiest way to see trends and how bad the situation is today is by looking at this graph of the dam levels over time. This makes it clear both how severe the situation is and how scary the current drop-off is. The red line represents the estimated point at which the taps will be turned off, a.k.a. "Day Zero".

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Water Saving Tips

Here are four simple things that everyone in Cape Town can do today to respond to this crisis.

Short Showers

Save 10 L of water for every minute shaved off your shower. The city recommends taking 90-second showers.

Fewer Flushes

Save 9 L of water every time you choose not to flush your toilet. If it's yellow, let it mellow!

Smarter Flushes

Save 8 L of water every day by dropping a brick or full bottle into your toilet cistern to reduce its water consumption.

Use Greywater

Put a bucket in your shower and sink, and use the run-off to flush toilets.

For more information and ideas, check out the Resources below.

Recommended Resources

Infographic courtesy of Eyewitness News