Public pools in Cape Town close due to water crisis

2017-02-08 15:56
Swimming pool. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Swimming pool. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is closing several public pools for most weekdays in a desperate bid to save water, it said on Wednesday.

"With the exception of Sea Point, Mnandi Resort pool, and four indoor facilities in Long Street, Retreat, Blue Downs and Strand, all public swimming pools will be closed from Monday to Thursday, starting on Monday," it said in a statement.

The pools will only be open to the public from 14:00 to 17:00 on Fridays, and from 10:00 to 17:00 over weekends.

This would continue until the end of March, when pools close for the winter season.

READ: Ringing the changes: Cape Town mayor phones top water consumers

These extreme measures come after Level 3b water restrictions were recently implemented by the City of Cape Town.

"According to previous swimming pool user logs, attendance during weekdays averaged at around 75 people per day during February and March 2016 and around 150 people per day on weekends, safety, security and social services mayoral committee member JP Smith said.

"This shows that the swimming pools are used 50% more over weekends, compared with weekdays during February and March. With the low usage levels during the week, it is impractical to keep these pools open while facing the current water crisis in Cape Town."

He acknowledged that the situation was not ideal.

"But I trust the public can appreciate the severity of the situation and will support this measure, over and above their individual water-saving efforts. We need to look at the bigger picture and, frankly, a short-term sacrifice like this is a small price to pay if we consider the impact it will have on our longer-term water supply and needs," Smith said.

* The Newlands, Westridge and Trafalgar pools would be closed for the rest of the summer season due to upgrades and repairs.

Read more on:    cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis  |  water

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