The City of Cape Town is considering implementing stricter water restrictions, on top of the ones already in place, as dam levels remain low.

“The City of Cape Town is considering the implementation of more rigorous water restrictions and other water-saving and optimisation measures…due to the current low dam levels as well as the requirement for a 20% curtailment in water use imposed by the National Department of Water and Sanitation,” it said.

Currently, the city has Level 2 water restrictions in place, which has outlined times for water gardens, parks, sports fields and lawns and prohibits automatic top-up systems for swimming pools, among other things.

On Monday, following orders from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the City of Joburg announced it would be reducing water usage by 15% and that tariff restrictions for those using 20 000 litres of water and above a month, have been introduced.

Dams supplying Cape Town are currently 15% lower than for the same period last year, requiring the city to manage its water resources in a more careful way.

“We have a collective responsibility to use water sparingly and ensure that the dams are not drawn down to very low levels over the coming summer period. While this may cause a certain amount of inconvenience and cost burden to our residents and businesses, it is important that we take a longer-term view and consider the possibility of the drought extending into the next winter rainfall period,” said the City’s MMC for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg.

Cape Town said will continue to optimise abstraction of water from the various dams in consultation with the water department and surrounding municipalities, which may entail periodic adjustment to the bulk water distribution system, which could lead to intermittent water clarity issues or changes in water taste for those with sensitive palates.

“It is likely that increased controls around designated times for watering gardens and similar will also be implemented. However, any further restrictions will be deliberated by Council before this occurs,’ said Sonnenberg, adding that residents will be kept up to date on this.

[Source – City of Cape Town, image – CC Wikimedia Commons]