If the rain doesn't come soon to fill the Gamkapoort Dam near Calitzdorp, jobs on the surrounding farms may be lost.
Since early 2016, for the first time in 24 years, the dam on the southern edge of the Great Karoo has been mostly empty, according to the honorary bailiff, Fox Ledeboer. The dam irrigates 2,000 hectares of farmland around Calitzdorp.
The light summer rainfall did not replenish the water that farmers used up, and by early May all that remained were a few dirty puddles and a fish graveyard. A couple of weeks ago some rainwater came in. If the dam were to be opened, this water might just make it to Calitzdorp before running out again, says Ledeboer.