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Van Dam Speaks on Cape Town Drought Situation

Van Dam Speaks on Cape Town Drought Situation

With the Western Cape’s drought situation now reaching critical levels, with the entire province being declared a disaster area — international news agencies are even starting to pick up on the situation. Derek Van Dam, who was once an ETV meteorologist before later moving to CNN addressed the situation in a recent segment on the CNN news station. Van Dam talks about the dire situation that Capetonians find themselves in, with only around 11% effective dam levels in the area.

He goes on to show drone footage of Theewaterskloof dam, showing the extent of the drought as we see a mostly barren area with low water levels. The drought is labelled as the worst that the area has seen within the last century, with Van Dam saying that the province needs a miracle.

Level 4 water restrictions are currently in place for the area, allowing residents just 100 litres of water use per day. On average people generally spend in excess of 250 litres per day, so the lowered amount requires some conscious efforts in reducing our water consumption.

As Van Dam states, the situation is both a combination of a rapidly increasing population density, which puts strain on the dams — along with lower than average rainfall, thanks to a dominant high pressure system which is keeping the cold fronts south of the country. In these dry periods, it’s not really a case of cold fronts not developing, as they are always traversing to the south. It is rather a case of the cold fronts not moving north enough to have an impact on the African continent. These patterns generally change as we head into winter, as the jet stream moves the cold fronts and their associated low pressures and moisture further north.

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