City to tighten water restrictions



October 19, 2016
City to tighten water restrictions
The Cape Town city council plans to implement Level 3 water restrictions on November 1.

If you thought play pools would keep your kids cool this summer, think again.

The city council plans to implement Level 3 water restrictions on November 1, which means there will be an indefinite 20 percent curtailment on all water use.

Under the enhanced restrictions, residents will be prohibited from using 

  • Portable play pools. Automatic pool filling systems will also be banned. Only pools fitted with a cover may be topped up manually.
  • Sprinkler systems or watering their gardens and washing their cars with hosepipes with municipality supplied drinking water. Commercial car washes will have to comply with industry best practice.

Other water and sanitation tariffs come into effect in December.

The increased water savings come off the back of a 10 percent restriction implemented in January.

Under a directive from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the increased restrictions will also apply to West Coast municipalities including the Saldanha Bay, Swartland and Berg River local municipalities.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said on Tuesday that the council was forced to act now to conserve the scarce resource.

“Unfortunately you can’t bring in water saving measures if there is no water. So we have to bring in the water-saving measures while we still have water. I’m sure the people of Cape Town will understand we have to do it now.”

Mayoral committee member for corporate services Xanthea Limberg said the enhanced restrictions were being triggered by the current low dam levels which are almost 15 percent lower than at the same time last year.

The city council had also been issued a directive from the water department to take more stringent steps to conserve water.

“If we continue on the current way of utilising water in the city, we are at risk of having only 45 percent of our dams full. The dams that provide to the city are sitting at 62 percent,” Limberg said.

The restrictions would remain in place until lifted by the council’s executive director of utilities.

Approving the Level 3 restrictions on Tuesday, the mayco said the intention was to ensure water supply to the city was not interrupted and to sustain the city’s needs now and in future. 

“It is therefore unavoidable and imperative that the City of Cape Town in order to achieve the said 20 percent curtailment and for compliance purposes with the notice in question, must further impose an additional 10 percent restriction to the current 10 percent imposed since January 2016,” said a report to mayco.

A report on the planned restrictions will be presented to a full council meeting scheduled for October 26.

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