Cape Town water crisis

What if we turn on the taps and nothing comes out? With dam levels at record lows and rain still not falling, this is a serious threat facing a city of four million people. GroundUp did an in-depth investigation of the water crisis.

GroundUp's investigation into the water crisis

Also see:

Useful articles on other sites

The University of Cape Town has an excellent series on the Cape Town water crisis.

Also see:

Articles on Cape Town water crisis

Photo of Theewaterskloof dam

Was the water shortage caused by farmers, city dwellers or drought?

We have analysed the data, and can now answer this question

By Piotr Wolski - 19 July 2018
Photo of flooding and shacks

How a woman secures her shack when it rains

Masiphumelele’s informal settlement is built on a wetland and regularly floods

By Thembela Ntongana - 4 July 2018
Photo of flooded area

Shacks flooded after week of Cape rains

Dam levels are rising and Day Zero in 2019 is unlikely, but for hundreds of thousands of people, the rains bring hardship

By Masixole Feni - 22 June 2018
Photo of Cape mountains with alien vegetation

Aliens are greatest threat to Cape Town’s water security

Clearing vegetation above the big dams is affordable and essential

By Jasper Slingsby and Mark Botha - 29 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape on 24 April 2018.

Cape Town’s dam levels higher than this time last year

Big Six at 24% compared to 19.8% in the same week in 2017

By GroundUp Staff - 28 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof dam

City explains new water tariffs

Higher fixed monthly charge will help pay for new sources of water for Cape Town

By Aidan Jones - 10 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof Dam on 24 April 2018

Cape Town can avoid Day Zero in 2019 - but we’ll have to keep consumption down

Dam levels are almost equal to same period last year

By GroundUp Staff - 7 May 2018
Photo of a dam

BEE farming project strangled by drought

“The dam is now at less than 10% of its capacity,” says farmer

By Aidan Jones - 25 April 2018
Photo of man drinking water from borehole

UCT scientists convince City to drill cautiously into aquifer

Environmental group will monitor borehole drilling into Table Mountain Group Aquifer

By John Yeld - 19 March 2018
Photo of people walking in rain

Will there be more rain this winter?

The sooner we know the answer, the sooner we can prepare for summer 2019

By Peter Johnston and Piotr Wolski - 15 March 2018
Photo of people at Newlands Spring

How Cape Town more than halved its water usage

Water consumption has dropped dramatically, but there is still more to be done

By Aidan Jones - 13 March 2018
Photo of drilling into Cape Flats aquifer

Cape Town is using aquifers responsibly

Groundwater abstraction based on a “no regrets” approach

By Ian Neilson - 9 March 2018
Photos of grape farm

Jobs and profits drying up on Western Cape grape farms

Farmer says his harvest is down 40%

By Aidan Jones - 8 March 2018
Photo of water management device

Water curbs: a tale of rich and poor

Most water management devices installed in poor areas

By Maxwell Roeland - 7 March 2018
Photo of a man washing a car

Car wash jobs threatened by water restrictions

Informal operators say it’s their only form of employment

By Mary-Anne Gontsana - 6 March 2018
Photo of people moving water

Here is the status of Cape Town’s water supply projects

City promises to engage with UCT scientists over concerns about drilling into the Table Mountain Group aquifer

By John Yeld - 2 March 2018