City of Cape Town's phases of water rationing explained

2017-10-13 14:36

The City of Cape Town's plan to avoid acute water shortages has three phases - Phase 1 of which the City has already implemented. The City anticipates its supply of municipal water will run out around March 2018 if consumption is not reduced to 500 million litres of collective use per day.

Phase 1 (throttling):

Water rationing is to take place through extreme pressure reduction. This is to stretch the water supply in dams.

- Some areas will be affected by water supply disruptions for short periods of time;
- Water users will be asked to store up to five litres of municipal drinking water, only for essential use. Do not store excessive municipal water;
- Zoned outages likely to occur during peak water usage times in morning and evening;
- Definitive timetables of water outages will not be provided;
- Critical services (clinics and hospitals) will be largely unaffected.

Phase 2 (disaster):

Residents will be able to collect a predefined quantity of drinking water per person per day from collection points.

- City will more actively assume control of daily water supply;
- Many households and businesses will be unable to access drinking water in their homes and workplaces;
- High-density areas with increased risk of disease and fires, such as most informal settlements, would continue to receive drinking water through normal channels where possible. The same goes for strategic commercial areas and critical services such as hospitals;
- Sewage system will be maintained for health and infrastructure considerations;
- City law enforcement, SA Police Service and SA National Defence Force will be deployed to ensure general safety is maintained throughout the city.

Phase 3 (extreme disaster):

The city will no longer be able to draw water from dams and there is a limited time to supply water before a complete water system failure.

- Emphasis will be on minimising the impact on human life, dignity and property;
- Households and businesses will be unable to access drinking water in their homes and workplaces;
- Non-surface water supply from aquifers and springs will be for drinking only;
- City will distribute this drinking water to residents at distribution points;
- All safety and security parties will be deployed to ensure that general safety is maintained.

Find out more about the current Level 5 Water Restrictions in the City of Cape Town

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