Joburg Water has urged residents to adhere to the newly implemented water restrictions. Those who don’t may face fines and possible cuts to water service.

This is the warning from Joburg MMC for Environmental and Infrastructure Services, Anthony Still, who announced a number of restrictions to be introduced today as a result of drought conditions and unseasonal heat experienced affecting water levels in the Vaal River System supplying the city.

As of today, the city has been instructed by its bulk supplier, Rand Water, to reduce domestic water usage by 15% and irrigation usage by 20%, a decision gazetted by the Department of Water and Sanitation on Friday.

Current water levels in the Vaal are at 35%, way below the required 60% threshold level. On average, Joburg residents use about 1.5 billion litres of water a day.

Still emphasised on Level 2 water restrictions that have been in place since last year and the need for residents to adhere to these or face the consequences.

According to the restrictions, residents are are urged to do the following:

  • To use water sparingly between 6am and 6pm every day, particularly by avoiding watering your garden as well as filling bath tubs
  • To not wash cars or pavements with a hosepipe
  • To not fill their swimming pools with municipal water, only borehole water (public pools are exempted from this)

Anyone who breaks any of these restrictions, which are official city bylaws, could be fined between R1000 and R1 500 by a Joburg Metro Police Officer.

Still urged residents to also help the city by reporting any incidents of anyone breaking the restrictions.

Still also announced that restriction tariffs will also kick in starting this month.

This means that residents using more than 20 000 litres in their households a month, will have to pay up to 30% more on their water bills than usual.

Worst case scenario: Water shedding

Still said Joburg Water and the City of Joburg expect that these measures will help reduce water usage until the drought situation is over (this is roughly projected to happen by early December this year), but should these not help, stricter measures will kick in.

“If these measures are not effective in reducing demand by 15%, then the Joburg Water system will face the risk of outages. This has further knock-on effects as outages allow air into the system, which causes a hammer and an increased likelihood of bursts,” Still said.

“Residents don’t take water restrictions seriously enough and this affects us all at the end of the day,” Still added. “Hopefully if people’s pockets are affected, they’ll adhere to water restrictions.”

Other metros in the Gauteng are also expected to announce similar measures in the coming days.

To stay up to date with what’s happening at Joburg Water and you can register to receive regular updates via SMS by visiting the Joburg Water website.

[Image – CC Dean (leu) .]