The City of Cape Town intensified water restrictions to level 4b on Saturday.

Following a mediocre amount of rainfall so far this winter – and a dry summer predicted to come – the water crisis is expected to worsen. Capetonians are requested to reduce their water consumption to less than 87 litres a day – with the target being city-wide use of less than 500 million litres a day.

Residents are asked to:

  • Only flush the toilet when necessary, wherever you are
  • Take a shower that is shorter than two minutes. Switch to an efficient shower head. Only do a ‘wipe down’ on alternative days to conserve water
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and reuse it to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning (bear in mind that greywater use has some health and hygiene risks you must avoid; keep hands and surface areas sanitised/disinfected)
  • Defrost food in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water
  • Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be reused for the next wash cycle
  • Upgrade to a multi-flush toilet and/or put a water displacement item in the cistern which can halve your water use per flush
  •  Fit taps with aerators or restrictors to reduce flow to no more than six litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws
  • Check for leaks on your property and fix it immediately

Level 4b restrictions will be used to drive down water usage to 500 million litres of collective water usage per day, which is urgently required as dam levels remain critically low and reserves need to be built up during winter for the expected harsh summer months ahead.

Photography Unsplash

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