Stellenbosch declares Level 6B water restrictions

2018-02-15 17:20
Theewaterskloof. (iStock)

Theewaterskloof. (iStock)

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Cape Town – Joining Cape Town, Stellenbosch municipality is set to enforce Level 6B water restrictions from Monday, February 19, to help extend the availability of water in the region, Mayor Gesie van Deventer announced.

The municipality is situated about 50km east of Cape Town and receives two thirds of its water from the same sources as Cape Town via the Wemmershoek and Theewaterskloof dams. 

These dams were 46.6% and 11.7% full on Wednesday, according to the City of Cape Town's water dashboard.

The City of Cape Town has warned that it runs the risk of activating a "Day Zero" plan to distribute emergency rations of 25 litres of water per person per day if consumption is not drastically reduced. The "Day Zero" date has been shifted to June 4 due to the release of farmers' dam water into the supply system and reduced consumption.

READ: #DayZero pushed back to June, as drought declared a national disaster

The pretty winelands municipality has around 167 572 residents who depend on the more than 100 wine farms, agriculture, tourism and retail sectors for their livelihood. It also hosts a large student population.

Van Deventer said the municipality was already weaning itself off the same supplies that Cape Town uses, and this should be completed by the end of March.

Households limited to 6 000 litres a month

In the meantime, even greater water saving is required, hence the introduction of the Level 6B restrictions. 

Under the 6B restrictions, each household will be limited to 6 kilolitres – 6 000 litres – per month. In a household of four people this should work out to 50 litres per person per day and people must stay within that limit regardless of where they are or whose water they use.

Larger households are requested to apply to the municipality for their quota to be adjusted to accommodate the extra numbers.

The restrictions are in line with a notice published in the Government Gazette in December 2017. 

That notice stated that domestic and industrial water consumption must be reduced by 45%, and agricultural water consumption must be reduced by 60%, measured on the equivalent average consumption of five years from 2010/11 to 2014/15.

In practice, the regulations mean:

- No watering with municipal drinking water is allowed for: gardens; flower beds; lawns; vegetables; agricultural crops; other plants; sports fields; golf courses; schools; educational facilities; nurseries; parks and other open spaces.

- Any watering with water other than drinking water may not take place after 9:00 or before 18:00, unless an exemption has been applied for and granted.

- Municipal departments may only water sports fields, parks, etc, with the non-drinking water during times agreed with the water and wastewater division.

- Nurseries and those involved in agricultural activities or those with historical gardens can apply for exemptions to the new rules via

- Watering sports fields, golf courses and parks with non-drinking water should be held off for at least seven days after heavy rain.

- All boreholes must be registered with the municipality and no new boreholes may be drilled without permission from the municipality.

- Borehole water should be used sparingly and, in line with the Department of Water and Sanitation's requirements, boreholes must have a meter installed.

The municipality said it had a "very effective" drought plan in place and would be able to provide for basic needs if everybody does their bit.

Further details and clarification may also be found here

Read more on:    drought  |  water crisis

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