Could 'good water saving' by Capetonians result in them paying more?

2017-11-20 12:43
Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)

Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is considering introducing a water levy to be paid by consumers because "good water saving by residents" has negatively affected its revenue, Mayor Patricia de Lille has said.

But, in written answers to News24, De Lille said a final decision regarding an additional levy had not yet been made.

"We are investigating the possibility of a levy, but no decision has been made. The City will make announcements when we are able to," she said.

"The City has experienced a decrease in revenue as a result of the good water saving efforts by residents and this does affect our finances.

"Until we can make announcements on decisions made with regard [to] funding options, I can assure you that the City's finances are in good shape."

ALSO READ: Only half of Cape Town putting 'efforts into saving water' - De Lille

She said the City of Cape Town had managed to divert R2.6bn from its budget to finance seven emergency water augmentation schemes, including desalination, water reuse and aquifer drilling.

While no water licence has been granted for the schemes, De Lille maintained that, together with the Department of Water and Sanitation, the City was "doing everything possible to expedite the process".

Water licences are not required for desalination plants, which are set to make up the bulk of the City's augmentation schemes.

Urged to use treated effluent water

Meanwhile, the City's mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, Xanthea Limberg, said the drought would not affect new or existing building applications.

She, however, urged the construction industry to use treated effluent water to offset the use of potable water.

"Using treated effluent on site makes financial sense because, at R5.30 (including VAT) per kilolitre, it is much cheaper than using potable water," Limberg said in a statement on Friday.

ALSO READ: Water-scarce Cape Town holding 'Day Zero' talks with police, army

"More importantly, using treated effluent will make it easier for the construction industry to meet the Level 5 water reduction targets, as well as help to conserve the city's potable water supply."

Developers can submit applications to use treated effluent water prior to the start of construction.

"The city already supplies treated effluent water to schools, golf courses, parks, sports facilities, car- and window-washing companies, painting companies, and sewer cleaning companies, among others," Limberg added.


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