The Cape Town water crisis is rapidly worsening every month, with Level 4 restrictions approved on Wednesday and Level 4B restrictions likely becoming a reality within the next 60 days. The restrictions and regulations of the city’s water crisis are changing often, here’s everything you need to know about the water crisis and how you can help keep the Mother City afloat.

What is Level 4?

We’re currently at Level 4 restrictions. Meaning the overall consumption of water per person daily is now no more than 100 litres, Level 3B did not restrict daily personal water usage at all.  This means showering for no longer than two minutes, not flushing more than three to five times a day and using grey water wherever possible.

Unlike Level 3B, where irrigation with municipal drinking water for an hour two days of the week was allowed, watering gardens with municipal water is now prohibited in Level 4.

Level 4 encourages irrigation with non-potable water (e.g grey water or rainwater) only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9am and after 6pm for an hour. The use of this water for watering gardens is discouraged for at least 7 days after rainfall. The use of non-potable water to flush toilets is also being encouraged.

Topping up, filling or refilling swimming pools is prohibited. The use of portable play pools are prohibited and pool covers are being strongly encouraged. Washing of vehicles with municipal drinking water is prohibited too.

Mayor Patricia de Lille says the city hopes for alternative sources of water to be able to be organised if push comes to shove, “we really are hoping that if the worst comes to the worst, the city will bring in – truck in water.” but “the best still is for people to save water.”

What would Level 4B mean for Cape Town?

The Level 4B restrictions would be based on daily supply and demand of water, being closely aligned with a goal of 500 million litres of use per day. We’re currently at 666 million litres of water usage per day.

This level would mean that there would be no more public pools, spray pools and water would only be used purely for essential drinking, cooking and washing.

“We need a new relationship with water. The days of plentiful water supply in Cape Town are over,” says De Lille. “We need to embrace the fact that water scarcity is the new normal and all our future planning must accept that we are living in a drought stricken area.”

Is there rainfall at the end of the tunnel?

Although drastic water saving plans are being made and alternative resources may be available, the limited water supply is something that we can’t live off of forever.

Snow Report SA says we may get heavy rainfall sooner than we think.

Photography Levi XU on Unsplash

Article written by

Nikki Louw

Nikki Louw is an avid food eater and wine drinker with a passion for writing about it too. She's a creative by heart, with a love for visual arts and feature writing, which she applies everyday in covering culture, art and food and drink pieces. She also enjoys writing trending news pieces and exploring topics such as gender issues and social consciousness. Outside of the Journalism realm, Nikki tries her hand at painting and drawing. She has a collection of unfinished canvases and completed oil paintings alike, stacking up in the corner of her bedroom.