No plans to implement water shedding

2017-02-28 06:00

As the water dam levels continue decreasing those who are not complying with water restriction measures will find themselves doing jail time.

Though the City of Cape Town is fining those who are transgressing, repeat offenders will be arrested, a City official has warned. “There are tougher restrictions and offenders can pay a fine of between R5 000 and R10 000 depending on offence. If found guilty repeat offenders will do jail time,” said Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, at a public meeting at Timour Hall Primary School in Plumstead last Wednesday.

Across Cape Town, 800m litres of water is consumed daily. While it is a significant drop from the 1.2b litres used daily about two years ago, Limberg says the City wants residents and businesses to push to less than 700m litres a day. “The 700m litres a day [target] is incredibly tough to achieve but we are in a period of drought and everyone must do their bit to save water.”

Residents attending the meeting lashed out at the City for not sending out crews faster when people report leaks. Other residents say the City must consider water shedding. “The City must look at cutting water in the morning for two hours in the morning and the evening then we can see how serious this is,” one suggested.

Limberg says the City responded to complains as soon as they could, but water shedding was not on the cards.

“We have seen from other provinces that water shedding doesn’t work. Instead it just makes the situation worse. We will have to draw up a table and when people see when water will be cut in their area they fill up containers which they won’t even use and that water is used to water plants or thrown away without being used. Water shedding is not in our plans, we won’t be doing it. However, some might have noticed last week that the pressure was reduced. We will be reducing a bit more again this week and we believe this will help us save,” she says.

She says the City is also working on long-term projects that would help if the water situation became dire. Some of the plans in the pipe line were Voëlvlei augmentation, Table Mountain group aquifer, water reclamation and, as a last resort, ­desalination.

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