THE Oudtshoorn Municipality has declared a local state of disaster due to critical water shortages.

The municipality says that the Raubenheimer Dam level is currently at 30.7%.

It says if water consumption increases, coupled with warmer temperatures, the water level will decrease even faster.

Oudtshoorn Mayor Colan Sylvester says the dam only has enough water for the next 160 days before it reaches surface water, which is unusable.

“As council, we are viewing the water crisis situation in Oudtshoorn seriously and we are committed to see to it that we use all available resources to ensure that the greater Oudtshoorn gets more water and that our residents are well educated to look after the valuable water resource.”

While the provinces water levels improved impressively in the last few months, the DWS’ weekly dam levels report indicates that Koos Raubenheimer Dam at Oudtshoorn remain at paltry 49.13%. Departmental Spokesperson, Mr Sputnik Ratau says while the winter rains has recharged the dam levels, the Little Karoo region which comprise Oudtshoorn remains a concern for the department. “The dire situation in Oudtshoorn has not improved and the situation is exacerbated by higher temperatures.