Although dam levels have been steadily increasing as a result of the fruitful winter rains the City of Cape Town has received, the City has warned that the past weekend’s hot, windy weather has pushed water consumption up by an average of 36-million liters per day.
This means that the city’s average daily water consumption now sits at 530-million liters per day, whereas the City has been aiming for an average of 450-million liters consumption per day.
“The hot winter weather shows that the climate is unpredictable and that we should continue to save water to build a buffer for summer,” the City said. “Although concerted water-saving efforts by the City and residents are still visibly under way, the influence of a warm week and an especially hot and windy weekend can clearly be seen in the water consumption data for the past week.”
Last Friday, officials of the City, as well as those of other municipalities and representatives from the agricultural sector, met with the National Department of Water and Sanitation to discuss the water restrictions imposed on the Mother City.
“During the meeting, it was agreed that there would be a phased approach to the recovery of the dams. This means that there would not be a big shift in restriction levels in one step,” said Ian Nielson, City of Cape Deputy Mayor. “Due to the lack of rainfall over the past two weeks and the lower prospects over the coming weeks, it was decided that it was not appropriate to relax restrictions yet. The situation will again be assessed in August.”
“If water restrictions are lowered to appropriate levels, the City will then lower the associated water tariffs. Restriction levels are linked to dam levels, and restriction tariffs are linked to the volume of water used by the city. This means that if the restriction level is reduced, individual use is expected to increase as the tariff decreases, ensuring the City receives the same total income. We will therefore continue to monitor the situation,” Neilson added.
Here are a few winter water saving tips:
Stick to short, stop-start showers or skip a day if you can
In winter, water may take a bit longer to heat up. Don’t let the cold water run down the drain while you wait for it to heat up. Rather collect it in a clean container and use it to wash dishes or laundry
Install flow restrictors on indoor taps to reduce the flow rate to less than 6 litres per minute. Low-flow shower heads can reduce flow to a maximum of 10 litres per minute. You can also reduce the water pressure to your property by turning your stopcock lower and/or installing a flow restrictor on the main pipe connection from your meter
Continue to harvest rainwater and use it to flush the toilet or to clean floors
Continue to switch between using waterless hand sanitiser and using water and soap to clean hands where possible
The City continues to encourage its residents to continue to save water.