The City of Cape Town is calling on residents to intensify their efforts to save water. Overall usage of drinking water is currently approximately 10% higher than the required savings target to prevent drawing dams down to dangerous levels by the end of summer.
The City of Cape Town advises residents that overall water consumption since the imposition of Level 3 restrictions is still 10% above the savings target of 800 million litres per day. In order to protect our water resources, residents have been asked to keep their water consumption over the coming summer months in line with their consumption over winter.
‘The start of the hot summer months generally carries with it a spike in water use as residents fill up their pools and use more water in their gardens. If we are to meet our targets, residents will need to cut these activities back to winter levels, or intensify their efforts to save in other areas to keep their consumption in line with how much they used during winter. Approximately 70% of water in Cape Town is used by residential customers, and as such these consumers will have the biggest influence on how secure our future water supplies are,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Alderman Ernest Sonnenberg.
Residents who would like to save water could consider harvesting rainwater or installing a borehole or water-well provided they register these with the City. This investment will also result in savings for residents in the long-run. In addition to adhering to restrictions, residents can also employ the following tips in their homes:
- Ensure that washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them
- Rinse dishes and vegetables in a basin of water rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden
- Reuse rinse water for the next cycle of washing up
- Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, at room temperature, in a basin of water, or in a microwave rather than placing them under running water
- When using taps, don’t let the water run down the drain while waiting for the hot water or for the water to cool. Rather collect the water in a bottle
- Close the tap when brushing your teeth
- Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water
- Shower rather than taking a bath – a half-filled bath uses 113 litres of water, while a five-minute shower uses about 56 litres
- Install a water-saving showerhead, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force, and turn off the shower when soaping
- Reuse bath water in your garden
- Install a new water-saving toilet
- Check if your toilet is leaking. Furthermore, residents can place a 2-litre bottle filled with sand into their cistern to reduce the amount of water used with each flushEnsure that gardens do not require large amounts of water to maintain
For more information on water restrictions as well as a more exhaustive list of water savings suggestions, residents can visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater. The City will also be advising consumers of restrictions in an insert in their next municipal invoices. We encourage residents to familiarise themselves with these restrictions and display them prominently in their homes.
If residents would like to get clarity on any of the restrictions, they can also view the FAQ document at the link above. If this does not provide an explanation they need they can send an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents who would like to report contraventions by members of the public can do so by contacting the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089, sending an SMS to 31373, or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.