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Cape Town may be in for even stricter water restrictions

By Danielle van Wyk

Cape Town residents should further brace themselves for tougher times as the City of Cape Town (the City) have recently announced that they could potentially be implementing further intensified water restrictions.

“The envisaged Level 4b restrictions would adjust the water usage target downwards to 500 million litres of collective water use per day. This comes as dam levels remain critically low, rainfall uncertainty great, and consumption levels still too high considering the need to start building reserves for the expected tough summer ahead,” the City stated.

According to the City’s updates, dam levels as of yesterday are at 24.5%. Important to note is that the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, so dam levels are effectively at 14.5%.

“Consumption is 630 million litres per day. This is 30 million litres above the current usage target of 600 million litres per day. The City requests consumers to start moving towards the target of 500 million litres, irrespective of whether Level 4b restrictions have been formally implemented or not, by ensuring that all water users use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether at home, work or elsewhere,” explained the City.

This, in preparation for the proposed intensified restrictions. No clarity around the specifics of what Level 4b water restrictions would entail, have yet been given.

“We must continue to use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether we are at home, work, school or elsewhere. It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and we must bear in mind that we are expecting an even tougher summer in 2018,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Limberg further stressed the following: “It is incredibly important that we focus on building our reserves at the moment. The danger does exist that we will start exceeding our water usage target due to the cooler conditions and the rainfall that is being experienced at times.”

The City requested that irrespective of whether Level 4b restrictions have not been formally implemented or not, consumer start cutting their usage even further.

In a recent address to big business on the drought, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille added the drought could be the regions “new normal”. This due to challenging and concerning climate change patterns.

Residents are encouraged to visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website.

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