KOUGA residents will have to cut back on their water usage even further over the next two months to avoid steep tariff increases.This is the warning from Infrastructure, Planning and Development portfolio councillor Desmond Petersen following the release of the latest water consumption figures.Petersen said the Kouga Council was pleased that the latest figures showed a decrease compared to those of the previous year but warned that the savings to date were not enough to ward off the threat of tariff increases.“We received a mandate from the Nelson Mandela Metro, who supplies most of our water for domestic use, to decrease our usage by 15 percent, however, our savings over the past month were only 10,5 per cent.“This means we will have to cut back our usage drastically over the next two months if we are to achieve the 15% target and avoid having to pay more for water,” he said.Kouga’s usage of Metro water totalled 17 166kl per day for the period December 19, 2016, to January 18, 2017. In comparison the usage for the previous year, measured from December 18, 2015, to January 20, 2016, totalled 19 171kl/day. “The figures show that residents and holiday-makers made an effort to save water. We would like to commend everybody for their efforts while pleading for more savings. These next two months are critical as our usage will determine whether or not the water tariff has to be increased,” he said.Water restrictions and punitive water tariffs have been in place across the Kouga region since January 1, 2017. The Council has warned that even stricter punitive tariffs might have to be introduced if water usage is not cut by at least 15% by the end of March 2017.