CAPE TOWN, The City of Cape Town has reminded all resident and visitors that level six water restrictions will apply from New Year's Day 2018.

The implementation of the latest, stricter water restrictions for the Western Cape Province water supply system follows a directive from the National Department of Water and Sanitation requiring urban users to reduce their water usage by 45 per cent, and agricultural users to reduce consumption by 60 per cent.

While the city acknowledges that there are many super water savers in Cape Town, its Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, said some 200,000 households are still using more than 10,500 litres per month, or more than 350 litres per day, which is just far too much.

The enhanced water restrictions to take effect from Jan 1 also encourage a more sustainable use of borehole water as a precious resource.

Mayor De Lille said if water usage is kept at 87 litres per person per day for essential indoor usage only, then there should be no reason for any spike in consumption, whether the weather is hot or cold.

The daily water usage limit will remain at 87 litres per person per day, wherever you are, unless targets continue to be missed, as is currently the case. We would then consider lowering usage targets further in an effort to adhere to these new restrictions and also to avoid 'Day Zero', when most of our taps will run dry, the Mayor said.

From Jan 1, 2018, excessive usage for domestic properties is classified as being in excess of 10,500 litres per month. Properties where households consume more than 10,500 litres per month could be fitted with a water management device.

Mayor De Lille said residents who have valid reasons for monthly consumption higher than the 10,500 litre restriction limit, must apply to the city to get a quota increase, prior to a device being installed, in cases where for example there may be more than four people living permanently on the property, or for medical reasons.

A household of four people should use far less than 350 litres per day. Most households actually use approximately 300 litres per day. However, households with high consumption typically use between 670 and 1,500 litres of municipal water per day, with some households using even more. This could be two to five times as much as the average household uses," she added.

With the average household size in Cape Town closer to three people, much can still be done to ensure that we are not queueing for water in March or April 2018. Our hot and dry (southern hemisphere) summer is here. We are not going to be given many more chances to really reduce our water usage. We have to do it now.

She added that there are many water users who have done a superb job to cut their water usage. Those who have not done so continue to place us all in danger.

Cape Town, South Africa's second largest metropolitan area, and many other parts of Western Cape Province, have been suffering a drought which has lasted more than two years.


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