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Drought crisis: Rain does not mean we can go back to normal

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Rain - [https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/files/2016/10/rain-generic_650x400_71457950721-1043ddi.jpg] Rain - [https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/files/2016/10/rain-generic_650x400_71457950721-1043ddi.jpg]

The City of Cape Town warns all of its water users that failure to reduce consumption spells disaster for everyone. Water usage has shot up to 643 million litres per day. This is 143 million litres above our target of 500 million litres of collective water use per day.

Our latest consumption levels are extremely worrying as many people believe that they can go back to normal behaviour due to recent rains. These recent rains are not nearly enough as we are still in a drought crisis. The drought conditions are the New Normal for Cape Town as a water-scarce region. To adapt to the New Normal, we have to change our behaviour drastically to save water while we still have water to be saved.

Too many people are not listening to the City’s warnings and appeals to reduce their consumption. The rainfall has made a very small impact on our dam levels. The fact that we are still 143 million litres over our 500 million litre target per day means that those who are not reducing consumption are playing with everyone’s future in Cape Town.

The lower than average rainfall, coupled with unacceptably high consumption, will hurt us all as there are still far too many stubborn people who are not doing enough to save water so that we can build up of reserves for a terribly harsh 2017/18 summer.

Dam storage levels are at 27,4%, but useable water is only at about 17,4% which is very low for this time of the year. This time last year dam storage levels were at 47,6%, with useable water at this time of year standing at 37,6%.

We are in a dire situation and Level 4b water restrictions require all water users to use less than 87 litres of water per person per day in total, irrespective of whether they are at home, work or elsewhere.

‘Water users who are not adhering to the restrictions are playing with our collective future. We must save water while we still have it. We simply must do more to use water more sparingly. We are reminding those households who fail to reduce consumption that the start of the process that could restrict supply is firmly under way,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

For information on how to adhere to the less than 87-litre usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater and utilise our new water calculator: http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT

Residents can contact the City via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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.

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

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