Johannesburg bans summer watering‚ with no clear end date

14 March 2017 - 18:00 By TMG Digital

Garden lovers seem to be the newest enemy of the state in the City of Johannesburg.

Despite the summer rains that filled up Gauteng dams‚ Nico de Jager‚ MMC for the Environment and Infrastructure Services Department‚ said on Tuesday that the city would only partially lift water restrictions in an effort to promote a culture of water conservation.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has lifted water supply restrictions in Gauteng municipalities.

"However‚ South Africa remains a water scarce country and the City of Joburg remains a net importer of water. We urge all water users to maintain vigilance in conserving this scarce resource‚" the City said in a statement.

 The risk of demand outstripping supply in the intervening period between now and the commissioning of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Project (2025) remains a real threat‚ it said.

"According to the 2009 Phase II feasibility report‚ the full yield is expected to be utilised by approximately 2030." The City said as a result‚ it would only partially lift Level-2 water restrictions.

- On an annual basis‚ between 06:00 - 18:00 during 1 September and 31 March; and between 08:00 - 16h00 during 1 April and 31 August‚ all consumers are prohibited from watering and irrigating their gardens; and

- All consumers are prohibited from using a hose-pipe to clean paved areas and driveways with municipal water.

So far metro police have issued a total of 665 fines to consumers since restrictions were imposed due to the previous drought and the city intends to maintain enforcement into the future.

The current water footprint for the City of Joburg is 309 liters per capita per day‚ compared to the national and world averages of 274 liters and 175 liters respectively‚ said De Jager. At the height of the restrictions‚ the demand reduced to 289 liters per capita per day.

"Water saving must become part of our lifestyle.

"The water conservation measures implemented as a result of the restrictions must become the norm. Residents are urged to keep on using grey water for watering gardens and flushing toilets; to report leaks and bursts and install water saving devices."