There has been some promising rainfall in the last 5 weeks that has taken capacity of the City of Cape Towns’ six major dams from a low of 19.7% on 23 April to 31.5% on 10 June 2018.
Using the five-year average inflows (rainfall less consumption) from 2013-2017 we can project a forecasted surface water storage trajectory to the peak of the rainy season at end September as displayed below:
Assume we receive below average rainfall (see motivation). Also assume this is countered by below average consumption due to the aggressive water rationings. These two reasonable assumptions justify the use of the five-year average inflows data as baseline for projected water levels.
This means we will end up at peak dam levels of 50.21% by 1 October 2018 versus the 37.17% we started with on 1 October 2017. So, if all goes according to plan, we start the next water cycle with 13.04% more water than the current cycle. Based on a total water storage capacity for these 6 dams of 898.221 Mm3 this means we will have 117.13Mm3 more water when we start the next cycle.
If you recall, Western Cape agricultural water was cut by 100 Mm3 to save the city from "Day Zero". This had a severe impact on the national economy (see SA posts biggest GDP decline in 9 years), since agricultural output of our nation shrunk a whopping 24%.
Thus, if all goes according to expected outcomes this season and we are blessed with "normal" rainfall again in 2019, we should be able to spare agriculture a debilitating water cut in 2019, but City dwellers won’t be spared from the current rationing. Water rationing is with us into 2019 unless some exceptional above average rainfalls head our way in the next 10 weeks.
On this point, another good looking cold front is due to hit on Thursday bringing much needed rain.
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Dwaine van Vuuren
RecessionAlert, Sharenet Analytics
Dwaine van Vuuren is a full-time trader, global investor and stock-market researcher. His passion for numbers and keen research & analytic ability has helped grow RecessionALERT.com (US based) and PowerStocks Research (now Sharenet Analytics) into companies used by hundreds of hedge funds, brokerage firms, financial advisers and private investors around the world. An enthusiastic educator, he will have you trading and investing with confidence & discipline.