The bountiful rains that the Cape has received over the past several days has finally pushed our dam levels up past the 60% mark, and has prompted the City to once again request for the current water restrictions to be lowered.
The City made the request during a meeting with the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Friday, 24 August, and proposed that urban restrictions be relaxed from 45% to 40%. Another request was made for agricultural restrictions to be lifted from 60% to 50%.
The City proposed that a risk-based analysis be conducted to evaluate the current water situation. The average water consumption over the past week has reached an average of 513-million litres per day – a decrease from the previous week’s 527-million litres per day consumption.
The water restrictions imposed by DWS form part of its severe drought response, and are an effort to preserve waters of the dams supplying Cape Town, the Western Province and its agricultural sector.
Effectively, this means that Cape Town is required to reduce its water usage by 45% of what it would normally be allocated – due to this it was calculated that each resident would be restricted to only 50-litres of water per day.
“The City has been advocating a risk-based and conservative adjustment of restriction levels for some time now,” said Ian Neilson, Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor. “This proposal was supported by the other municipalities in the system. Agriculture representatives motivated for a greater relaxation for agriculture.”
The DWS has agreed to have a response by Friday, 31 August.
“As the water supply situation has improved adequately, it is essential that an appropriate relaxation of restrictions takes place as soon as possible, not only so that economic activity can be improved, but also so that water tariffs can be relaxed from the current high levels to give the necessary tariff relief to households and businesses,” Neilson added.
“The City thanks its water users for continuing to use as little water as possible in an effort to preserve the water in our dams. This effort is helping to build a buffer against the summer months ahead. As always, we are grateful to our water users for all of the effort and sacrifices that have been made to get us all through this extreme phenomenon.”
They have also assured residents that they will continue to make use of all the water initiatives to ensure that water usage remains as low as possible.