Western Cape water crisis worsening, demand to outstrip supply by 2019
The water demand in Western Cape is now projected to outstrip supply by 2019.
This was the warning given by the province's environmental affairs MEC Anton Bredell, who painted a bleak picture of the province's immediate water security.
Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club yesterday, Bredell told a tightly packed crowd, including protesters from the Philippi Horticultural Area, which provides a substantial quantity of vegetables for Cape Town, that the province was in an extended dry spell the likes of which had not been seen since 1983.
Five districts in the province have been declared disaster areas and dams in the Cape Town municipality had dropped below 35%.
The Eden and Overberg districts had enough water to last only the next six months.
Bredell said the population of the province was growing, increasing the demand for water. He believed the drought was going to get worse and said that consumers could soon see a 30% increase in food prices.
Some of the options to soften the effects of the drought included reusing water, desalination, getting water from the Berg River Scheme and the Table Mountain aquifer.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille handed over letters to households, which have recently consumed between 55,000 and 159,000 litres a month.
"I warned them to reduce their consumption immediately to around 20,000 litres per month or lower," said De Lille, who announced a new crackdown on water abusers starting on Monday.
"The identities of all customers who pay admission-of-guilt fines or who appear in court regarding contravention of level 3b water restrictions will be made public," said De Lille.
"The city will publish the lists of fines issued in various areas where contraventions take place, including street names but without street numbers.
"Similarly, street names of the top 100 highest consumers for each category of domestic, commercial and government, who are under investigation for contravening the restrictions, will be published, with the meter readings."
De Lille said her deputy, Ian Neilson, was dealing with industrial consumers.