NEWS & ANALYSIS

Implementation of next level water restrictions considered – City of Cape Town

City says it is incredibly important to focus on building reserves at the moment

Drought crisis: City mulls implementation of next level water restrictions

26 June 2017

The City of Cape Town is preparing for the imminent implementation of further intensified water restrictions. The envisaged Level 4b restrictions would adjust the water usage target downwards to 500 million litres of collective water use per day. This comes as dam levels remain critically low, rainfall uncertainty great, and consumption levels still too high considering the need to start building reserves for the expected tough summer ahead. Read more below:

Dam storage levels are at 24,5% today, 26 June 2017. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 14,5%. Consumption is 630 million litres per day. This is 30 million litres above the current usage target of 600 million litres per day.

The City requests consumers to start moving towards the target of 500 million litres, irrespective of whether Level 4b restrictions have been formally implemented or not, by ensuring that all water users use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether at home, work or elsewhere. This would be in preparation for the proposed intensified restrictions. The City will also continue to target excessive users.  

‘It is incredibly important that we focus on building our reserves at the moment. The danger does exist that we will start exceeding our water usage target due to the cooler conditions and the rainfall that is being experienced at times.

‘Our dam levels remain critically lower than usual during the start of the winter. As we do not know how rainfall will pan out, we need to make sure that we save water while we have it. I know that many of us are doing everything in our power to use less water and I know it is difficult to keep on saving water, especially when the rain falls and the temperature drops, but we cannot afford to let our guard down.

‘We must continue to use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether we are at home, work, school or elsewhere. It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and we must bear in mind that we are expecting an even tougher summer in 2018,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg

The City’s Water Resilience Task Team has been set up to boost the City’s response to drought, to ensure that acute water shortages are avoided, and to transform Cape Town’s water landscape into one that ultimately relies less on surface water.

The City continues with all of its planned and proactive interventions, such as pressure reduction programmes and emergency work, as well as taking tough action on those who contravene the existing Level 4 restrictions.

Residents can contact the City via email to water@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.

For further information on how to adhere to the less than 100-litre usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater

Issued by Media Office, City of Cape Town, 26 June 2017