Cape storm isn't a quick fix for drought, warns City of Cape Town

2017-06-07 18:59
Despite the rain, Cape Town officials say residents must conserve water. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Despite the rain, Cape Town officials say residents must conserve water. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has cautioned residents that despite heavy rains, there is still a need to reduce water usage.

"Water users are reminded that water is only permitted for essential use, irrespective of the rainfall that is being experienced," the city said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said water users "must continue to reduce their water usage to less than 100 litres per person per day in total, wherever they are.

"The much-anticipated cold front which has made landfall is not a quick ticket out of the drought situation. It will take at least three consecutive winters of above-average rainfall to make a real difference."

Residents were also urged to, where possible, use suitable containers to capture rainwater.

"[These are] perfect for flushing toilets… flushing an average toilet could save 9 litres per flush depending on the type of toilet."

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Drinking water

The city's mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, Xanthea Limberg, said that due to climatic unpredictability, no one could "definitely predict when our next big rainfall will occur.

"We must therefore continue to save water now and we cannot afford to have our water use influenced by the weather - using less than 100 litres per person per day whether at home, work, school or elsewhere remains the requirement."

According to the statement, the city had made provisions to capture some of the excessive inflows at wastewater treatment works.

"There are critical points in the sewer reticulation system where storm water is diverted to the sewer system. This water is treated to make more treated effluent available. Investigations [are] under way to see how [we can] capture urban storm water at a greater scale and then store it for later treatment and use."

The city added that drinking water was safe to drink.

"Rigorous and regular tests are conducted to maintain the high level of water quality."

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather  |  drought  |  water

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