Cape Town Water restrictions – Answers to questions

As the summer hots up worries about understanding and coping with the 30% water restrictions are growing.  Before getting even hotter under the collar trying to find out about new rules which are different to the level 2 Restrictions, have a look at the Frequently Answered Questions pdf from the City of Cape Town.  It answers many questions about the level 3 water restrictions.  Read more here. 2016-11-level-3-water-restrictions-faqs


The pie chart of water consumers shows that houses in Cape Town use the highest percentage of water.  They also offer the biggest opportunity for water efficiency and saving.

NOTE: If your garden is your pride and joy and you are too frail to carry a bucket or watering can and have no one to help, you can apply for an exemption to use a hose. Click here for the form: 2016-11-water-restrictions-special-exemption-application-form.  The forms are also available at the City’s sub- council offices. Your application must be accompanied by a copy of your ID. This does not exempt anyone from using water conservatively.  And in the current water crisis, lawns & pools are not a priority. The higher Level 3 Water Restriction tariffs will apply for all water consumed above the free 6000 kilolitres per month.

NB TIP: Now is the time to find and monitor your water meter. That undetected leak could start costing you a lot more money at the higher tariffs.  If you have a leak rather find out as soon as possible and not when it is reflected as a multi thousand rand charge on your water account. Your water meter can help to both discover lost water and help you to manage consumption on a daily or weekly basis.  Go find it. Switch off all taps and check to see that the meter is not turning over and recording water consumption. If it is you probably have a leak.

Using the meter to manage consumption.  We are required to reduce our water consumption by 30%.  According to the City, the level 2 water restrictions imposed on 1 January 2016 achieved less than 10% savings and the level3 restrictions introduced on 1 November have not shown a significant change in behaviour – yet…  With a dry windy summer forecast and low dam levels we seriously need to save. Look at your historical water consumption figures. Work out where you can save. (less water in garden, short showers, using grey water for the garden or to flush the toilet etc). Set yourself / your family a consumption target and record daily or at least weekly water readings to measure your water saving activities.  Success will be rewarded with a water cost that is similar to what you were paying before the Level 3 Restrictions as reduced consumption neutralizes the higher tariff. If you are really water wise and or invest in water harvesting and water efficient technology (grey water system, low flow shower heads) you may even pay less for water.








Kim Kruyshaar 2016 11 .

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2 Responses to Cape Town Water restrictions – Answers to questions

  1. Nick Els December 1, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Lewis, thank you for the report and fair warnings. I’ve a question. What is the deal with borehole water, any kind of restrictions there?

    • admin December 2, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      ??? The answers to your questions are in the link in the post you have commented on.
      Where other sources of water (i.e. not drinking water from municipal supply) are used, a notice to this effect must be erected in a position clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. In addition, when watering gardens etc. with alternative water resources (e.g. rain water harvesting, grey water re-use, treated effluent water, well points and boreholes) you are ENCOURAGED (but not required by law) to do so only before 09:00 or after 16:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. A hosepipe and irrigation system maybe used with bore hole or well point water. No watering is permitted within 24hours of good soaking rainfall. ALSO NOTE: we SERIOUSLY need to look after our ground water and use it conservatively. It is a vital part of our ecological reserve and does not get recharged / replenished in drought times. Just because some of us own a pump (and we do have a wellpoint and pump) does not mean we have the right to use the commons water underground without extreme care. In fact the rush for new well points and ongoing irrigation of gardens and lawns as if ground water is part of another system, is likely to result in many wells and boreholes drying up before the winter rains. Over extraction of water is likely to drop the water table with serious consequences for our aquifers.

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