14 November 2017

South Africa: Cape Town Reprioritises Budget to Fund Water Projects

Photo: Vincent Lali/GroundUp
New Lands, Khayelitsha community leader Myolisi Magibisela says taps have run dry (file photo).

The City of Cape Town has reprioritised R2 billion of its budget to fund seven additional water projects.

"We have looked at ways to fund a first phase of water supply projects by relooking at our spend across the city to see which non-water related projects we can temporarily postpone, while protecting funds for basic and emergency services," said the Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille.

The first phase projects earmarked for these funds are the desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town Harbour. The Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects and the Zandvliet water recycling project make up the first seven emergency water projects of this phase.

The city made this announcement amid reports that their dam levels have dropped, with dam storage levels at 36.8% and useable water at 26.8%.

"Our dam levels have declined by 1% over the past week. This could be attributed to the high winds and hot weather, which contributed to evaporation. We have managed to halve Cape Town's water usage with the help of 51% of our water users, who have put tremendous efforts into saving water," said Mayor De Lille.

According to the city, water users have exceeded their water usage by 82 million litres per day, with the required level set at 500 million litres per day.

Mayor De Lille appealed to all water users, especially the 49% who are not saving water yet, to join efforts to beat the drought.

"We need to do more to bring our usage down, while at the same time pulling out all of the stops to ensure that we implement various projects for additional water supply to help see us through to winter 2018."

Cape Town water saving tips

Limit water use to less than 87 litres, per person, per day.

Use municipal drinking water only for essential washing, cooking and drinking purposes, and only use indoors.

Check and fix all leaks on your property.

Limit household consumption to 20 kilolitres per month.

Residents can access more water saving tips and view updates on water restrictions on the city's website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater.

Residents can contact the city via email to water@capetown.gov.za for queries about the water pressure reduction, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions or they can send a SMS to 31373.

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