City warns water wasters to watch out

Water levels at the Theewaterskloof dam near Villiersdorp are at an alarmingly low level as a result of the scorchng heat and drought conditions in the Western Cape.

The City says it knows who the biggest water wasters are and it’s coming after them.

Last week the council voted to take the water restrictions up a notch from Level 3 to Level 3B as dam levels dipped below 40 percent.

The City also revealed most of the top 20 000 water wasters stay in formal residential areas in the metro.

In a statement from the City, Newlands was named as one of the high-use areas.

“We will be targeting these households as they need to drastically reduce consumption.

Formal residential properties use 65 percent of the City’s water supply,” said Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy.

“I warn residents not to feel emboldened by our recent rainfall. This is not the time to relax your efforts and to become complacent. We need those great water ambassadors out there to continue to work with us and to save water.”

The new restrictions came into effect on Wednesday February 1.

They further limit the use of potable water for non-essential purposes.

Meanwhile, a project launched at UCT last year, dubbed Future Water, is drawing together academics and researchers from UCT and other universities in the region to tackle a range of complex water issues and inspire a new generation to think differently about water.

The project’s Dr Kevin Winter said the region was “playing catch-up” for below average rainfall in 2015 and 2016.

“It is vital that every drop is conserved in the run up to these winter rains. It will rain, but the questions are: how much? where? and when? Predicting the answers to these questions is not an exact science.

“Over the next three months, even the smallest of savings could make a difference that would enable us to add a few days here and there until a significant rainfall. We can’t afford to run out of water or endure water shedding.”

Meanwhile, the City says it plans to regulate water pressure to reduce leaks; replace ageing water mains; improve response times to pipe burst; find and repair underground leaks; promote the use of treated effluent or borehole water instead of drinking water for irrigation; and offer free plumbing repairs to indigent households.

For more information or to report water wasters, call 0860 103 089, SMS 31373 or email contact.us@
capetown.gov.za or water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za.

You can also visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater.