Tougher water restrictions loom

2016-10-25 06:00

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Residents who use drinking water excessively are in for a harsh summer following a less than satisfactory winter this year.

The City of Cape Town will enforce Level 3 water restrictions from Tuesday 1 November

According to Priya Reddy, City spokesperson, the City aims to reduce water use by 20%, which is supposedly in line with the directive from the national department of water and sanitation. City Council is expected to make a final decision on this tomorrow.

Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayco member for utility services, says Cape Town residents as a whole did not achieve the target of a consistent 10% reduction in water use that was in place from 1 January.

He adds that should the trend continue, the dams which service the City are at risk of falling to 15% by the end of summer. The picture looks even bleaker should another poor rainy season be experienced.

“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,” he says.

The key enhanced restrictions on Level 3 for residential users are:

. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems. This means that watering or irrigation of gardens, lawns, flower beds as well as sports fields, parks and other open spaces can only happen with a bucket or watering container.

. Cars and boats may only be washed with water from buckets.

. No automatic top-up systems are allowed and manual topping up of swimming pools is only allowed if pools are fitted with a pool cover.

. No portable play pools are allowed.

The proposed tariff increases (from Level 2 water restrictions) for average residential users are (price per kF; 1kF = 1000F):

For water used for general domestic use:

. Step 1 (0 to 6kF) will remain at R0.

. Step 2 (>6kF= 10.5kF) will increase from R15.68 to R16.54

. Step 3 (>10.5kF= 20 kF) will increase from R20.02 to R23.54

. Step 4 (>20kF= 35 kF) will increase from R32.65 to R40.96

. Step 5 (>35kF= 50 kF) will increase from R49.83 to R66.41

. Step 6 (>50kF) will increase from R 93.39 to R200.16.

For water used for domestic sanitation:

. Step 1 (0 = 4.2 kF)will increase from R 0

. Step 2 (>4.2kF= 7.35 kF)will increase from R13.24 to R13.98

. Step 3 (>7.35kF= 14kF) will increase from R23.39 R27.47

. Step 4 (>14kF= 24.5kF) will increase from R28.15 to R35.29

. Step 5 (>24.5kF= 35kF) will increase from R36.48 to R48.65

The tariff is designed so that the price per kilolitre of water goes up once the resident’s use for the month exceeds certain levels. For example:

. The first 6kF (Step 1) is free.

. After usage exceeds 6kF, but before usage reaches 10.5 kF for the month (Step 2), each kilolitre will cost R16.54.

. After usage exceeds 10.5kF, but before usage reaches 20kF for the month (Step 3), each kilolitre will cost R23.54.

. After usage exceeds 20kF, but before usage exceeds 35kF for the month (Step 4), each kilolitre will cost R40.96/kF.

City officials say they will continue to optimise how they extract and use water from the various dams. “This could lead to intermittent water clarity issues or changes in water taste for those with sensitive palates. Should we experience unusually hot and windy conditions during summer, this may promote algal growth in the dams which could also give rise to an earthy taste and smell to the water. Activated carbon is used at the water treatment plants to remove most of the taste and smell. All water supplied will remain safe to drink. We will also be lowering distribution system pressures where possible to reduce leakage from municipal and private water systems. This will mean that water may flow more slowly from taps and fittings.”

V Visit www.capetown.gov.za/en/Water/Pages/­Water-restrictions.aspx.

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