A new set of by-laws proposed by the City of Cape Town includes possible jail time of up to 6 months for heavy water users, as the Western Cape inches closer to ‘day zero‘.
Provincial government said in a statement yesterday (Tuesday) that the average level for dams across the Cape for the week starting 11 December is 32%. Levels were at 52% in 2016.
The City of Cape Town has urged the public to comment on the Water Amendment By-law draft. It includes the following key proposals:
- Reducing the demand on the municipal water supply by expanding the regulations on alternative water use and efficient plumbing fittings
- Enhancing enforcement of the by-law in relation to plumbers within the metro
- Strengthening the requirements for sub-metering on properties that have multiple accommodation units
The draft also stated that those who fail to comply with restrictions may face imprisonment, “a person who fails to comply with water restrictions… is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine or upon conviction to a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months”.
It further stated that residents water supply may be cut off if they don’t comply with restrictions, “The Director may discontinue for such period as he or she may deem fit or limit the supply of water to any premises in the event of a failure to comply with the terms of notice”.
The draft proposed that the council would gain the power to insist that a sub-meter or pre-paid meter (or volume controlling device) be installed at the cost of the owner “to each section, business or dwelling unit on any premises for us in determining the quantity of water”.
In a statement released by Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, she said the Western Cape is currently inching closer to Day Zero by the week.
“Consumption has once again increased to dangerous levels, from an average of 611 million litres per day last week to an average of 628 million litres per day this week, while the daily demand spiked to 694 million litres yesterday. This means that many people have relaxed their water-saving efforts or, worse still, are ignoring the restriction measures. This puts us at risk of reaching Day Zero much sooner.”
“According to the latest consumption levels, only 37% of residents are using less than 87 litres per person per day. This has decreased from 40% of residents last week.
In terms of the City’s progress with our first-phase seven augmentation projects, these are at 50% completion.
These factors have moved Day Zero forward to 18 May 2018″.
De Lille said Western Cape residents should continue to keep up on their water saving efforts.
“The City has committed to doing everything it can to bring additional water online, but we can only beat this drought if residents keep saving. Even when new projects start yielding additional water, residents must not let up on saving water as it will take a few years for us to recover from the drought,” she said.