cape-town1Level 4b water restrictions were officially implemented on Saturday in the City of Cape Town.

“Level 4b restrictions will be used to drive down water usage to 500 million litres of collective water usage per day which is required as dam levels remain critically low and reserves need to be built up during winter for the expected harsh summer months ahead,” the city said in a statement.

These restrictions require all water users to use less than 87 litres of water per person per day in total, irrespective of whether people are at home, work, school, or elsewhere.

The city said it was expecting a very dry summer in 2018, and added that rainfall probability and volume remains incredibly uncertain, hence the implementation of stricter restrictions.

The city explained that the restrictions were part of its “proactive drought management interventions, along with intensifying the large-scale pressure reduction programmes across Cape Town to force down consumption”. It added that other emergency interventions are under way.

Water management devices to be installed

The city said it was still concerned that there are many domestic consumers who are using well in excess of 20,000 litres per month per household. “We have been monitoring and engaging with high users and we will be issuing letters to them to warn them that we will be installing water management devices at properties with unjustifiably high consumption to limit their water use to acceptable levels,” said Xanthea Limberg, mayco member for utilities.

Limberg said water management devices will be installed in terms of a directive issued by the director of Water and Sanitation in terms of the Water by-law, clause 36 (1) (a) and (b).

“The programme to intensify the monitoring of high use properties will continue through July,” she said. “Many residents at high consumption properties which we have previously engaged with have rectified leaks on their properties and have addressed other causes for unacceptably high water usage. The city also continues engagements with stakeholders in business, the informal car wash sector, and government departments.”

To get to below 87 litres of water per person per day in total, residents are asked to adhere to the following:

  • Only flush the toilet when necessary
  • Take a shower that is shorter than two minutes. Switch to an efficient shower head. Only do a ‘wipe down’ on alternative days to conserve water
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and reuse it to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning (bear in mind that greywater use has some health and hygiene risks you must avoid, keep hands and surface areas sanitised/disinfected)
  • Defrost food in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water
  • Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be reused for the next wash cycle
  • Upgrade to a multi-flush toilet and/or put a water displacement item in the cistern which can halve your water use per flush
  • Fit taps with aerators or restrictors to reduce flow to no more than six litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws
  • Check for leaks on your property and fix it immediately

For further information on how to adhere to the less than 87 litre usage requirement, residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the water restrictions page on the city’s website: