14 September 2017

South Africa: De Lille Uses 89l of Water Per Day, 2l Above Target

Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp
Theewaterskloof Dam in drought-stricken Western Cape on 11 May 2017.

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says two-minute showers, doing laundry once a week and leaving dishes in the sink help keep her personal consumption below 90l a day.

In a tweet on Wednesday De Lille revealed the daily average water consumption of her household in Pinelands.

"Capetonians challenged me to share my water bill. Here it is: We're three people and four dogs at home, using 267l per day. Let's #ThinkWaterCT," De Lille tweeted. In August, the City of Cape Town introduced level 5 water restrictions whose aim is to limit water consumption to 87l per person per day.

When De Lille was asked by a Twitter user why her water consumption was above the city's target she replied: My family and I are working to reduce our water use further. I hope you are too."

Her spokesperson Zara Nicholson told News24 that the mayor stopped filling her swimming pool early in 2016 and only washes her vehicles with waterless carwash products.

The mayor uses the city's water calculator app to calculate her daily consumption and reduce it where necessary, Nicholson said.

"The mayor wants to encourage people in houses and people in their workplaces to see who can save the most water and also save them money with a very low water bill by using this application."

Fines in the pipeline

Facebook users praised the mayor's honesty about her water consumption.

Sarah-Kim Boyd said: "Everyone could do better if they were judged by other people's standards. She's making a difference with the amount she uses and that's okay. I think she's brave for sharing it."

Andrea Lachner said De Lille's consumption could definitely be lower.

"However, I think this is being honest rather than posting a MUCH lower usage," Lachner commented on the Water Shedding Western Cape Facebook group.

Bryan Bruton questioned whether De Lille would be labelled a water abuser and penalised accordingly for using 2l more than the target.

On Monday, the city said it would be fining domestic users who consistently use more than 20 000l per month.

The commercial sector, where water usage has not declined, must also bring consumption down by 20% year-on-year or face penalties, mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said in a statement.


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