It’s hard to imagine how intense the worst drought in a century is when you’re just reading news reports, so perhaps data imagery may be able to put things into perspective.
An interactive graph created by the Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town shows the decline in rain levels in the city over four decades, between 1977 and 2017.
2016/17 has by far been the worst year for the Western Cape as rain levels remain low and water usage levels remain high.
The City of Cape Town is currently implementing as many interventions as it can to bring usage down, but it’s a mighty uphill battle.
The last decade has particularly seen a sharp decline. By 9th July this year, Cape Town had only seen 70mm of rain, compared to 304.5 mm in 2007. Over the four decades, 1993 was the best for rainfall throughout the year and recorded over 744 mm of rainfall in December.
“This graph is a first part of a more comprehensive system we are building which will allow for visualising not just rainfall, but also water levels and river discharges, and not just current, but also forecast values,” CSAG said,
Check the graph out on the CSAG website.