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May 16th, 2017 by


The City of Cape Town have announced on their site that due to useable water levels in dams being down to a worrying 11.2%, they have no choice, but to start enforcing the new water restrictions.

Consumption has been carefully monitored over the last few months. The City has expressed its disappointment in the fact that the City is 118 million liters over the 600 million liter target last week.  

The City has sent out emergency communication that all residents and businesses need to cut all usage of non-essential municipal water use immediately. This is expected to come into effect as of today as an emergency action to curb the usage of water totally in the city. The City have stated that citizens should only be using 100 liters a day in total.

All outside use of portable water has to be stopped as an immediate effect!

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Level 4 Restrictions Include

  • Use water only for drinking, washing, and cooking:
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary. Don’t use it as a dustbin. ‘If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down’
  • Take a short 2-minute shower. A standard (non –water-saving) showerhead can use as much as 16 liters per minute
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and reuse it to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning. *Greywater use has some health and hygiene risks you must avoid. Keep hands and surface areas sanitized/disinfected.
  • Defrost foods in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water
  • Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen, for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be reused for the next wash cycle.
  • Switch to an efficient showerhead which uses no more than 10 liters per minute, as per the City’s by-law.
  • Upgrade to a multi-flush toilet and/or put a water displacement item in the cistern which can halve your water use per flush.
  • Fit taps with aerators or restrictors to reduce flow to no more than 6 liters per minute, as per the City’s by-law.

Check how much you are using a day! 

What The City Is Doing

Already, the City have commenced dredging operations at the Voëlvlei Dam. This is to prepare for low-level extraction of water. The Theewaterkloof Dam looks to be the next target for dredging. They have engaged with the National Department of Water and Sanitation, to request emergency dredging operations there too. as a matter of urgency to request dredging operations at Theewaterskloof Dam too.

Check For Leaks

The city has also urged consumers to start checking for leaks as these seem to be the largest drains on the Cities supply. An elderly citizen in Manenburg has recently received a R42 000 bill for an undetected leak. It is easier to make sure there is nothing suspect on your property! As the saying goes, rather safe than sorry!

Their DIY toolkit to check if there is a leak on your property is as follows:

1.    Close all taps on the property and don’t use any water at all
2.    Check and record your meter reading
3.    Wait 15 minutes and record the meter reading
4.    If there is a difference in your meter reading, you have a leak
5.    Call a plumber ASAP if it is not a DIY job

Read More Below for further water saving hacks!

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  • MamaM

    In the 80’s when there were drought conditions n the Western Cape and not in then-Transvaal, the army would use their water trucks to bring water down. They would stop at farms, help them out, and help fill the dams. This saved millions of rands, lives and the economy many times. Why are they not doing this now? We are not at war, the army could be shipping water to where it’s needed. How do we bring this to the army’s and the public’s attention?