Following new requirements introduced by Mayor Patricia de Lille at the beginning of September, director for Tsogo Sun’s Cape region John van Rooyen said that the hotels have reduced about 20% of their water consumption, in line with the most recent restrictions.

The Tsogo Sun Hotel group has initiated a range of water-saving techniques, including banning bathing, in order to cut down on wasteful water usage.

“We introduced a monitoring system called station seven, which checks consumption levels of hotels by the hour. I must say all hotels have come to the party,” said Van Rooyen.

“We have also introduced our linen changes to be less frequent, same with the towels.”

The hotel group has also introduced methods like the replacements of linen serviettes with paper serviettes and the removal of bath plugs from hotel bathrooms, meaning all guests may only shower. Sunday saw the City of Cape Town announce level 5 water restrictions for the city’s residents and businesses would be implemented immediately.

“The upper limit of 87 litres per person and the overall target of 500 million litres per day of collective consumption remain in place. However, there is now a new emphasis on capping excessive water use at the domestic household level and placing additional restrictions on the commercial sector,” mayor Patricia de Lille said.

“The managers of commercial properties must with immediate effect ensure that their monthly consumption of the municipal supply of water is reduced by 20% compared with a year ago.

“The city acknowledges that there are some commercial properties that have made great strides to reduce consumption of municipal water, and therefore the historical usage of individual commercial properties and their efforts to install improved water management technologies will be taken into account when considering any enforcement measures against the owners of commercial properties in the future,” she said.

Although details on commercial fines were not available, de Lille indicated that she had been talking to the chief magistrate to have fines increased across the board – including a hefty R5,000 – R10,000 fine for domestic water wasters.

The region’s major dam levels were at 35% capacity as of September 4th, according to Cape Town’s official water-tracking utility. However, since the last 10% of a dam’s water is difficult to use, the useable water in the dam is approximately 10% less than the dam level, meaning the useable water level is closer to 25%.

At this time last year the average dam levels for the province were at 61%, while the average level last week was 32.73%.

Photography Tsogo Sun

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