Water Crisis: Get Ready For Level 4 Restrictions!

June will most likely see the increasing of restrictions on the use of water in the Western Cape. What should you prepare for?
Sherryn de Vos
2017-05-10
There have been murmurings in government that there will probably be a revision to the current water restrictions facing the Cape. Currently on Level 3B, the public have been urged to use water sparingly during the current drought. Hosepipes have been banned from watering gardens and flower beds. And, the washing of cars and boats is currently not allowed either, unless at a commercial wash or with non-portable water. But, this is about to be notched up a level. The cities dam levels have dropped to 22.8%. Yet, worryingly, due to the last 10% being unusable, the levels are actually sitting at an all-time low of 12.8%. This gives the Cape about 88 days of water left. Of the six dams that feed the city, Theewaterskloof, the main supplier, is sitting at only 15%. The City of Cape Town has already downgraded the water crisis to disaster status, with the city taking proactive steps to name and shame excessive users. And, they are not about to stop there. There has been talk that the next level will be announced soon. This will have a major impact on all citizens and businesses in the city. Rather safe than sorry we say! Prepare now for the tightening of the restrictions.

What Can You Expect?

Currently, sitting on Level 3 B restrictions, the Level 4 looks at clamping down completely on the use of water in the province. This could include totally scrapping the use of portable water for outdoor use in private homes. That would mean that the only way you could water your garden is with grey water or run off. Municipalities will be restricted with the amount of portable water that they use in public gardens and parks. Topping up and filling your swimming pool will be banned completely.   You can also expect an increase in tariffs from July - if the increase is approved. The City has proposed raising them by 19% to “encourage people to use less water”. This has, however, been met with an outcry from already heavily cash-strapped citizens who have reduced their water usage.

The City’s Shameful Wastage

Despite water restrictions being thoroughly broadcast and implemented all over the city, there are still a lot of documented cases of wastage. The city had been meeting its weekly targets for several months but, last week, found itself 120 million litres over. One Claremont user, in particular, is responsible for using 678 000 litres in one month. Many are blaming the higher usages of water, like this, on leaks on the property. Recently, a Manenburg senior citizen received a shocking bill of close to R42 000. She had been unaware that there had been a leak underground for a few months, which had been steadily increasing over the months. We ask the question, in the event that a particular property's water usage be particularly high, should the City not investigate? If it is an undetected leakage, should the City not strive to rectify the matter?