How bad is the drought?

I meant to blog this when I saw it, but I needed to go to the beach and relax, so I didn’t get around to it. Still, no harm in sharing it now, because even looking back, I think it’s very telling as to the perilous state of our water supply.

We’re now well into fire season and when they are not fighting fires, our local agencies are working overtime on social media, keeping us informed and trying to stop people from starting fires in the first place. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Here’s a post from the Overberg Fire Protection Association from the 31st December 2017.

Various reports of smoke have been received from 09:00 this morning. We can confirm that no #wildfires have been reported and area confirmed is safe. #Thanku for your vigilance, Overberg District Municipality Fire and Rescue and the #goFPA members that made sure our area is safe. The phone calls to assist with our efforts (mostly made by members from the beach!), the private plane that could give info and worried officials offering assistance!

All of which seems to be good news, but if no fire, then why the smoke? Because we all know that “there’s no smoke without fire“.

Here’s the image (by devfloat) that accompanied the post:

But that’s not smoke. That’s dust, but not just dust from anywhere:

#Overberg #Theewaterskloof area 31/12/17 11:30
No ongoing #wildfires, dust from the Theewaterskloof dam is the cause of concern.

Yes, people thought there was a fire in the area because there was dust blowing around from the local dam. The one that would usually be full of water and supplying it to Cape Town.
Not only is it not full of water and not supplying it to Cape Town, the dam is so dry that its surface is blowing around and making people think the valley is on fire.

I know that this is not “news”, but if anyone out there needs a sign that we are in a seriously dire situation, then this is surely it.

And yet only a third of us are following the city’s recommendations:

We are utterly buggered. And we only have ourselves the other 66% to blame.

Good news, bad news

GOOD NEWS!
As of 0600 this morning (it’s Friday today, for those wondering), the Theewaterskloof dam has 5,476,628,400,000 more litres of water in it than its low point on Tuesday at 1200.

BAD NEWS!
That only equates to its volume being 1.14% up on earlier in the week.
Current level = 14.05%*.

 

And therein lies the message that there’s a long, LONG way to go yet till we’re out of this mess, folks. Keep saving water!

* Obviously, there will still be inflows that haven’t reached the dam yet, so this figure will rise a bit.

Dam scary

Please do click through to Wessel Wessels’ album of photographs taken at the Theewaterskloof Dam (the largest of the six main dams that supply water to Cape Town). It makes for sobering viewing:

Theewaterskloof is currently just 25% full.
Not this bit of it, obviously.
This bit isn’t full at all.

Analogue

The Southern Cape (and I’m talking specifically of the Overberg, Theewaterskloof and Cape Agulhas municipalities here) is so beautiful right now. Lush, green farmland full of blue cranes, fields of bright yellow canola flowers, rolling hills and the all the fun of the fair with the R316 dipping and curving through the landscape.

There are other great driving songs out there, of course. But a-ha’s Analogue was playing as we headed past the infamous Houtkloof turn just north of Napier, and it needs sharing.

For the UK viewers out there (presumably in… the UK), I think the video should come with some sort of warning about setting off fireworks in an oil refinery; namely – don’t.