Breaking news doing the rounds today is that level 6 water restrictions will be a reality from the start of the new year.

A statement from the Western Cape Provincial Government Gazette released on Friday, 1st December, brings to light that level 6 water restrictions will come into effect in less than a month.

The statement reads:

LEVEL 6 WATER RESTRICTIONS

The City of Cape Town has implemented Level 6 Water Restrictions, effective from 1 January 2018 until further notice.

RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL CUSTOMERS

No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water allowed. This includes watering/irrigation of gardens, vegetables, agricultural crops, sports fields, golf courses, nurseries, parks and other open spaces. Nurseries and customers involved in agricultural activities or with historical gardens may apply for exemption.

The use of borehole/wellpoint water for outdoor purposes, including watering/irrigating and filling/topping up of swimming pools, is strongly discouraged in order to preserve groundwater resources in the current dire drought situation. Borehole/wellpoint water should rather be used for toilet flushing.

All boreholes and wellpoints must be registered with the City and must display the official City of Cape Town signage clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. All properties where alternative, non-drinking water resources are used (including rainwater harvesting, greywater, treated effluent water and spring water) must display signage to this effect clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.

No topping up (manual/automatic) filling or refilling of swimming pools with municipal drinking water is allowed, even if fitted with a pool cover.

The use of portable or any temporary play pools is prohibited.

No washing of vehicles (including taxis), trailers, caravans and boats with municipal drinking water allowed. These must be washed with non-drinking water or cleaned with waterless products or dry steam cleaning processes. This applies to all customers, including formal and informal car washes.

No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal drinking water allowed. Users, such as abattoirs, food processing industries, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs (health/safety related only) must apply for exemption.

The use of municipal drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is prohibited.

Customers are strongly encouraged to install water efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components.

 

RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS:

All residents are required to use no more than 87.5 litres of municipal drinking water per person per day in total irrespective of whether you are at home, work or elsewhere. Therefore, a residential property with four occupants, for example, is expected to use at most 10 500 litres per month.

Single residential properties consuming more than 10 500 litres of municipal drinking water per month will be prioritised for enforcement (see note 1). Properties where the number of occupants necessitates higher consumption are encouraged to apply for an increase in quota.

Cluster developments (flats and housing complexes) consuming more than 10 500 litres of municipal drinking water per unit per month will be prioritised for enforcement (see note 1). Cluster developments with units where the number of occupants necessitates higher consumption are encouraged to apply for an increase in quota.

You are encouraged to flush toilets (e.g. manually using a bucket) with greywater, rainwater or other non-drinking water.

No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies.

RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO NON-RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS:

All non-residential properties (e.g. commercial and industrial properties, schools, clubs and institutions) must ensure that their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water is reduced by 45% compared to the corresponding period in 2015 (pre drought). (See note 1 below.)

All agricultural users must ensure that their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water is reduced by 60% compared to the corresponding period in 2015 (pre drought). (See note 1 below.)

The operation of spray parks is prohibited.

No new landscaping or sports fields may be established, except if irrigated only with non-drinking water.

For users supplied with water in terms of special contracts (notarial deeds, water service intermediaries or water service providers), the contract conditions shall apply.

NOTE 1: Failure to comply will constitute an offence in terms of the City’s Water By-Law, 2010 (or as amended). The accused will be liable to an admission of guilt fine and, in accordance with Section 36(4), an installation of a water management device(s) at premises where the non-compliance occurs. The cost thereof will be billed to the relevant account holder. Customers with good reason for higher consumption need to provide the City with motivation to justify their higher consumption.

Other restrictive measures, not detailed above, as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the Water By-Law, 2010 (or as amended) still apply.

Exemptions issued under Level 4B and 5 restrictions still apply, subject to review with the possibility of being revoked. Water pressure has been reduced to limit consumption and water leaks, and such may cause intermittent water supply.

In summary, the biggest takeouts are:

  • Residential units consuming more than 10 500 litres per month will be prioritised for enforcement
  • Non-residential properties to reduce consumption by 45%
  • Agricultural users to reduce consumption by 60%
  • The use of borehole water for outdoor purposes is discouraged in order to preserve groundwater resources

A full copy of the Government Gazette may be read here.

 

Photography HSM Images / Andreas Eiselen

Article written by

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.