Cape Town intensifies water restrictions

Water restrictions - []

According to The City of Cape Town has approved the implementation of tougher water restrictions on the use of potable water for non-essential use.

As from 1 February 2017, the City will implement Level 3b restrictions.

City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, and Energy, Xanthea Limberg, said the restrictions are due to severe drought that is being experienced and repeated failure to reach the intended water savings target of 800 million litres of collective water use per day.

Limberg said that as at 23 January 2017, the average consumption was 80 million litres above the target, and dam levels had dropped to 40.4%.

“It must be borne in mind that it is very difficult to extract the remaining 10% of a dam’s capacity. The City must therefore urgently further intensify the current restriction measures by introducing Level 3b restrictions,” said Limberg.

She said the approval of 3b fine schedule by the Magistrates’ Court is expected to be in place shortly. A higher amount for spot fines of R5 000 has been proposed as part of the fine schedule.

Level 3

Watering or irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed, only if using a bucket or watering can.

No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed. Watering times are not restricted, however, residents are urged to limit their watering to the mornings and evenings.

No watering or irrigation is allowed within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities or customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

Washing (using potable water) of vehicles and boats only is allowed if using a bucket.

Level 3b

Watering/irrigation (with municipal drinking water) of flower beds, lawns, vegetables and other plants, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9am or after 6pm for a maximum of one hour per day per property, and only if using a bucket or watering can.

No use of hosepipes or any sprinkler systems allowed and no watering/irrigation is allowed within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation.  

Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

No washing of vehicles or boats using municipal drinking water is allowed at residential/business/industrial properties. Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or washed at a commercial carwash.

Furthermore, no irrigation using potable water will be permitted at City’s facilities and no increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission.

Limberg said that exemptions granted under Level 3 are being reviewed with the possibility of being revoked, with the option for reapplication.

“Current water users with exemptions under Level 3 must adhere to Level 3b irrigation days and times. Regular enforcement blitzes will remain in place and we are also getting ready to target the highest 20 000 water users in the metro.

“We will imminently advise them of punitive measures that might be taken, such as fines for transgressions or the installation of water restriction devices if they do not reduce their usage by 20%,” Limberg said.

For queries or to report contraventions, residents can contact the city via email Evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts.