City set to decrease water tariffs

At the beginning of November, Capetonians will start to pay less for their water usage.

On Tuesday 20 October, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco unanimously supported the City’s decision to lift water restrictions in Cape Town and to move to the lowest tariff, being the no restriction, water-wise tariff from Sunday 1 November.

The item will be served before council for noting this week.

Mayor Dan Plato says the tariff has already been approved by council as part of the set of tariffs for the City’s 2020/21 budget.

Based on the first 10 500 litres of water used + 15mm meter, the average bill will be R411.99 on the no restriction, water-wise tariff.

This is compared to R785.38 under the Level 6B tariff at the peak of the drought.

“This lowest tariff will offer residents some financial relief while ensuring we can still provide reliable water services and invest in new water sources,” Plato says.

The City’s decision to lift water restrictions and lower water tariffs was based on three key considerations:

  • The department of water and sanitation’s (DWS) lifting of its restrictions applicable to the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) of shared dams, of which Cape Town is one of the users. Overall, the WCWSS dam levels reached 100%.
  • City projections indicating dams are unlikely to drop below 50% by next winter. The lifting of all restriction measures, except for existing water regulations permanently in place due to the proactive management of water resources, will allow for water-wise usage, in line with the lowest tariff, which is slightly lower than the current, second-lowest tariff level.
  • City projections also indicating the latest anticipated water usage patterns for the coming summer will be sufficient to allow the lowering of water and sanitation tariffs from the second-lowest tariff to the lowest, no restriction water-wise tariff level.

According to Plato, the City and Capetonians have come full circle in the partnership that saw “Team Cape Town” get through the drought.

“Apart from the dams filling up to capacity and beyond in recent weeks, this is another moment to be celebrated as, in a few short years: we have gone from the worst drought to face our city and a potential water ‘Day Zero’, to full dams and zero water restrictions besides the need to stay water-wise.”

He says due to the significant increase in dam levels, residents who feel comfortable enough can begin to relax water-saving efforts in good conscience while being water-wise. Aimed at ensuring water-security, the City’s Water Strategy was launched earlier this year.

City’s mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg says the City has already been actioning the Water Strategy as 15 million litres of groundwater per day have come online from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer while other projects, including permanent desalination and water reuse, are also being planned.

  • The water restrictions are lifted under this level but permanent regulations as outlined in the Water By-law still apply.

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