Cape Town water usage must come down by 100 million litres - city

Johannesburg - Water use in Cape Town must be brought down by 100 million litres per day immediately, the City of Cape Town said in a statement on Monday. 

“Dam storage levels are now at 20,7%, which is 0,7% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being usable, dam levels are effectively at 10,7%.

“Consumption disappointingly remains at 93 million litres above the consumption target of 600 million litres (per day),” mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, councillor Xanthea Limberg, said.

Premier Helen Zille on Monday officially declared the drought-stricken Western Cape a disaster area.

Limberg said, “We are asking all water users to reduce their water usage to 100 litres per person per day.”

Cape Town was experiencing the harsh impact of climate change, with reduced annual average rainfall and abnormal water patterns. No sufficient rain is predicted for the next three weeks.

Also read: Western Cape declared disaster area over drought

The city has allocated R22m to employ additional staff for its first-line response teams who are deployed to attend to water faults reported to our call centre. Approximately 75 additional staff members have been employed to improve the city’s response time to water complaints.

Since the implementation of water restrictions, the city’s call centre and first-line response teams have been inundated with calls about water faults and leaks.

The city’s staff attend to approximately 800 water and sanitation complaints related to water leaks and faults on a daily basis and teams are doing all they can to expedite their response to water complaints. 


“We continue to use all current means to drive down consumption. There are some residents in this city who have already cut their consumption down to one-third of what they used to use, but others have seemingly taken the decision that their needs are more important than anyone else’s.

“We will continue to crack down on those water users. Every single water user must use less than 100 litres per person per day. This is not negotiable," said Limberg.

Residents have been urged to use water solely for drinking, washing and cooking and to only flush the toilet when necessary. They are also encouraged to take shorter showers.  

“Defrost food 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 and 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.”

The city has also urged residents to check for leaks properly.

“One leaking toilet wastes between 2 600 and 13 000 litres per month, depending on the flow rate of the leak. A leaking tap wastes between 400 and 2 600 litres per month,” Limberg said.  

For more information and to report contraventions of water restrictions, email or send send an SMS to 31373.


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