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Water features are only to use recycled water as the City clamps down on wasted drinking water with tougher restrictions in the face of ever-decreasing dam levels. Water features are only to use recycled water as the City clamps down on wasted drinking water with tougher restrictions in the face of ever-decreasing dam levels. Rodger Bosch

Tougher new water restrictions in place

Feb 03, 2017

As the level of dams supplying water to Cape Town continue to decline at around 2% per week, and there is very little rain in the forecast, homes and businesses have to use even less water.

The City of Cape Town has moved to even stricter restrictions, level 3b. Among the implications are that watering of outdoor plants will only be allowed on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day per property and only using a bucket or watering can. No hosepipes or sprinkler systems are allowed. No watering or irrigation will be allowed within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation, and this also applies to using water from boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points.

There will also be a total ban on washing vehicles using municipal drinking water. Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or washed at a commercial carwash.

Using drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is strongly discouraged. If drinking water is used, the water fountains or water features must operate by recycling the water.

In public places, water-efficient parts, fittings and technologies have to be installed to minimise water use from all taps, showerheads and toilets.

The City is also charging far more for water. The more you use the more you pay with restrictions in place. Residents who are heavy users could be in for a shock when they get their municipal accounts. Users of 6kl or less still don’t pay, but increases are moderate as you use more – between 10.5 and 20kl the cost  rises from R17.41 to R23.54 per kl. Above this, tariffs double – from 35 to 50 kl the cost goes up from R31.86 to R66.41 and above 50kl from R44.03 to a massive R200.16 per kl!

Commercial premises pay a flat rate per kilolitre for water and sanitation. With level 3b restrictions water rises from R18.77 to R25.35 per kl, and the sanitation charge from R14.42 to R19.48 per kl.

The central city area has many hospitality businesses, including catering and accommodation ones, a sector represented by FEDHASA. While not a regulatory body, FEDHASA says it encourages members to act ethically and legally when it comes to issues like water restrictions. “As an industry, it is our responsibility to make guests aware of the reasons behind the tougher water restrictions.

There are a number of ‘green’ policies in place at establishments and FEDHASA has communication initiatives to alert its members with regards to the water-shortage crisis and the importance of conveying this to guests and visitors. To combat the water wastage, we must educate our guests in hotels, restaurants, and convention centres on how to save water,” says CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. Tips include not leaving the tap running while brushing teeth and taking shorter showers instead of bathing, not replacing towels unless they’ve been used and it is necessary to do so. “This is not easy to do as the nature of our business is hospitality, but we must convince guests that crucial water-saving practices are not only good for the establishment, but for the environment too and it is the right thing to do,” he says.

For more details, visit 

Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2017 15:07
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CityLife is the newspaper for people who live, work and play in the Cape Town central city area – and our many visitors. It’s a blend of news and information about people and places in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

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