Cape Town – Faced with the lowest dam levels in eight years, the City of Cape Town has cautioned residents that water restrictions could be on the cards when summer starts.
The city’s mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said: “Over the past 15 years, the city has recognised that existing water resources should be used as effectively as possible. As a result, we have intensified measures to use water more efficiently and to reduce water consumption and wastage.
“Despite some rains, we still urge residents to save water, as Cape Town is a water scarce region.”
Although there had been some rain since the beginning of winter, the runoff had not significantly increased dam levels. The city was therefore facing the possibility that the levels at the end of winter would not have recovered to the same levels experienced in previous years.
Dam levels would be assessed at the end of the season by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, as usual.
“A decision will then be taken on how the system of dams will be operated over the next year, including whether water restrictions will be required.”
Sonnenberg said the city wanted to re-emphasise the need for consumers to continue with water-saving practices to conserve as much water as possible before the drier summer months.
These initiatives, coupled with improved leak detection, asset management and pressure management schemes had helped to significantly curb the city’s water demand growth and wastage over the past 15 years.
He added that the city’s water by-law called for compliance with water conservation and demand management practices.
Recommended water-saving tips include:
* Perform a water audit at home
* Fix leaks on plumbing system and appliances.
* Take showers instead of baths.
* Reduce shower time.
* Confine watering of gardens to before 10am or after 4pm.
* Cover garden beds with mulch to retard evaporation.
* Monitor water meters for high consumption and possible water leaks.
* Fit hoses with trigger sprayer nozzles.
* Use brooms to sweep hard surfaces instead of a water hose.
* Use buckets for vehicle washing (informal car washes to use trigger sprayer nozzles and formal to recycle their water).
* Re-use the final rinse water from washing machines for the next wash cycle.