South Africa: Level 6 Water Restrictions in Cape Town Next Month

Retreating water levels at Theewaterskloof Dam have left dying plant life behind.
28 December 2017

The City of Cape Town has reminded all water users that level six water restrictions will apply from 1 January 2018.

The implementation of the latest water restrictions for the Western Cape water supply system follows a directive from the National Department of Water and Sanitation requiring urban users to reduce their water usage by 45 percent, and agricultural users to reduce consumption by 60 percent.

While the city acknowledges that there are many super water savers in Cape Town, the city's Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille said some 200 000 households are using more than 10 500 litres per month - more than 350 litres per day - which is simply far too high.

The enhanced water restrictions also encourage a more sustainable use of borehole water as a precious resource.

Mayor De Lille said if water usage is kept at 87 litres per person per day for essential indoor usage only then there should be no reason for any spike in consumption, whether it is hot or cold.

"The daily water usage limit will remain at 87 litres per person per day, wherever you are, unless targets continue to be missed as is currently the case. We would then consider lowering usage targets further in an effort to adhere to these new restrictions and also to avoid 'Day Zero' when most of our taps will run dry," the Mayor said.

From 1 January 2018 excessive usage for domestic properties is classified as being in excess of 10 500 litres per month. Properties where households consume more than 10 500 litres per month could be fitted with a water management device.

Get a quota increase

Mayor De Lille said residents who have valid reasons for monthly consumption higher than the 10 500 litre restriction limit, must apply to the city to get a quota increase, prior to a device being installed, in cases where for example there may be more than four people living permanently on the property, or for medical reasons.

"A household of four people should use far less than 350 litres per day. Most households actually use approximately 300 litres per day. However, households with high consumption typically use between 670 and 1 500 litres of municipal water per day, with some households using even more. This could be two to five times as much as the average household uses.

"With the average household size in Cape Town closer to three people, much can still be done to ensure that we are not queueing for water in March or April 2018. "Our hot and dry summer is here. We are not going to be given many more chances to really reduce our water usage. We have to do it now," Mayor De Lille said.

She added that there are many water users who have done a superb job to cut their water usage. "Those who have not done so continue to place us all in danger."

For more information on the new water restrictions visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater, and visit http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Water-a... to apply for a daily water quota increase.

Residents can check their water usage by registering on e-services: http://cct.gov.za/sh5O5. For more information on water management devices, please visit http://cct.gov.za/mXos4

Water supplied by the city remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.

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