Capetonians use 864 million litres of water a day‚ feigning ignorance about restrictions

20 December 2016 - 18:38 By Farren Collins

Capetonians are still not heeding the call to conserve water as dam levels across the municipality dropped below 50%‚ despite stringent level 3 water restrictions being in place.

The City of Cape Town set a consumption target of 800 million litres per day in order to offset the below normal rainfall during winter‚ but this has not been met since Mayor Patricia de Lille approved the stricter restrictions two months ago.

Last week the average daily consumption for the municipality was 864 million litres‚ and that figure rose to as much as 905 million litres per day a fortnight ago.

Mayoral Committee member for Utility Services‚ Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg‚ said there was still far too much indiscriminate use of hosepipes‚ particularly for irrigation.

Sonnenberg also said that the people continued to feign ignorance despite the message being consistently communicated to them.

“The restrictions are clear – hosepipes are not allowed‚ except when borehole or well-point water‚ spring water‚ rain harvested or grey water is being used. And even then‚ such property owners must register their borehole or well-point and display signage prominently for all to see‚” Sonnenberg said.

As part of the level 3 restrictions residents are only allowed to use buckets or watering containers to irrigate their gardens.

Only buckets can be used to wash cars and boats - and portable pools are no longer permitted‚ among other things.

Sonnenberg was encouraged that enquiries about water restrictions had nearly doubled in the week.

“I’m hoping that it means more people are becoming aware of the situation and want to make sure they’re on the right side of the law‚” he said.

“I urge them to help us spread the message and help raise awareness around the braai fire or dinner table this holiday season. We still have a number of very hot months in the offing and it is crucial that we save as much water as possible.”

Tshwane‚ Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni in Gauteng have already implemented water restrictions after a notice was issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation directing municipalities drawing water from the Vaal River to limit urban water use by 15% and irrigation by 20%.

- TMG Digital/The Times