The City of Cape Town will officially lift water restrictions in the city and implement the restriction-free water-wise tariff from November 1.

The water-wise tariff is the most moderate tariff. However, Mayco member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, said that the City would continue to implement cost-saving and water-wise plans to motivate Capetonians to use water sparingly.

Limberg explained what residents need to know about water tariffs: 

– City water costs on average 4c per litre in comparison to R10 per litre for shop-bought bottled water

– Based on the first 10 500 litres of water used + 15mm meter the average bill will be R411,99 on the no restriction, water-wise tariff. This is compared to R785,38 under the Level 6B tariff at the peak of the drought.

– The City’s water tariff, like some other metros, has a usage and a fixed part and it forms the total water tariff that covers the cost of providing water. This includes the maintenance of infrastructure and making sure Cape Town is resilient by adding new sources to its water supply and becoming a water-sensitive city

– The cost of providing the service remains largely the same regardless of how much or little water is used, or how full the dams are

– Residents who are registered as indigent do not pay the fixed basic part of the water tariff and receive a free allocation of water monthly

– The City does not budget for a profit/surplus from the sale of water, and seeks to keep costs of service delivery as low as possible.

What residents need to know about the no restriction, water-wise restriction level:

– The water restrictions are lifted under this level but permanent regulations as outlined in the Water By-law still apply, regardless of the restriction level as Cape Town is situated in a water-scarce region

– For more information about the no restrictions ‘water-wise’ restriction level and the permanent regulations that still apply.

The City says that even though dam levels have increased, rainfall remains well below the long-term average. Therefore water sources need to be protected by adhering to water restrictions.

They also add that a water supply system that could completely shield Cape Town from the effects of drought is beyond their means ‘given the economic structure’ of society.

More information about the City’s Water Strategy can be found here: www.capetown.gov.za/general/cape-town-water-strategy 

Picture: Unsplash

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