The water is gone - space view of Cape Town's water nightmares

earth engine esa google image map nasa satellite sentinel space usgs water

The second most populated area in South Africa is facing a real nightmare - after three years of drought the water is about to end. Although it is coastal city and people enjoy the view of the ocean just next to their homes, the drinking water in reservoirs has reached to its lower level ever.

The lack of rain left the Theewaterskloof's reservoir water level drop to critical levels. The City of Cape Town's Water Map was created to show the water use information from the city's billing system. It is good that efforts are currently being made to control the situation, but the measures are clearly late as we can see from this newspaper article from 1990.


 The image below shows Theewaterskloof on 30 July 2014

And here is the situation on 5 May 2016 when the water was clearly starting to disappear.

30 July 2017

 And 16 January 2018

 Here are all the images in real color together 

False color images show the difference between water and drought clearly:


 According to Wikipedia and the cited there scientists the region has warm Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Winter lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August, may see large cold fronts entering for limited periods from the Atlantic Ocean with significant precipitation and strong north-westerly winds.

Below is the moisture analysis of the images shown above. Even if you're not an expert you can clearly see that there is much more red (which means dryness) now than the years before, which are with more blue-colored tones (which means moisture).

June 2016


July 2017


January 2018


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment