Tips for saving water, dams low

Cape Town’s mayoral committee said on Tuesday it had approved the stepping up of water restrictions to level two.

In a statement the city said the item will now go before council for deliberation on December 10.

“As we are situated in a water-scarce region, the city imposes level 1 restrictions [10% water savings] at all times. Because the city’s dam levels are approximately 15% lower than the norm for this time of year, it was proposed that the city implement level 2 restrictions [20% savings] to preserve the long-term sustainability of the resource.”

The restriction will also have financial implications with the city saying that if customers reduce their consumption by 10%, their bill should remain at a similar rand value. However, if restrictions were upped, using the same amount of water would cost more.

“For example, if a resident normally uses 24 kl of water every month at a cost of R294.62, and they reduce consumption by 10%, they will continue to receive a bill for a similar amount.

However, if implementation of the level 2 tariff is passed by Council, 24 kl will cost them R344.75.”

The city has said that indigent customers’ free allocation will not be affected, nor will the first free 6kl a month for all residents.

Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg said, however, the city was still relatively more stable than other provinces.

“However, given that Cape Town is situated in a semi-arid area, it is important that we are not complacent.”

If passed by council, residents will have to abide by the following, more stringent regulations:

- No watering (e.g. using buckets) of a garden, sports field, or other grassed area using potable water between 09:00 and 16:00. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes or other alternative sources are not exempt.

- No watering (e.g. using buckets) will be permitted within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes or other alternative sources are not exempt.

- Irrigation (e.g. hose pipe/sprinklers) is only to take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during approved hours, and for no longer than an hour in total. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes or other alternative sources are not exempt.

- If alternative water sources are utilised, customers should ensure that they display signage to this effect clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.

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