Devices for water wasters

Communal taps, which provide free water in rural areas, are often not maintained.

With excessive water users still popping up in Claremont, Rondebosch and Constantia, the City of Cape Town has embarked on a water-saving mission by installing water management devices to restrict high consumption households across the Cape.

Dam storage levels are currently at 32.5% and consumption is 629 million litres a day, which is too high to build reserves for the harsh summer lying ahead.

However, many households are still exceeding 20 000 litres usage a month.

On Wednesday August 16, the City installed water management devices at a property in Constantia and one in Claremont where water usage over the past six months ranged between 60 000 and 120 000 litres a month.

This means that on average the daily consumption of these households was between 2 000 and 3 300 litres a day which the City said was unfair to others who are trying to conserve water.

“This is extremely unfair to the majority of residents who are saving water as we are in a severe drought and we have not received our usual winter rains.

“We have issued more than enough warnings and pleaded with residents to reduce consumption, but there are still too many people who continue to flout water restrictions.

“The time for asking people to reduce excessive consumption is over and we will now forcibly restrict those households who continue to contravene water restrictions.

“This is a clear warning to all who continue to use water as normal or fail to check for and repair leaks. With drought as the ‘new normal’, we need a drastic change in our behaviour,” said Mayor, Patricia de Lille.

The property owner will be billed for the installation of the water management device at cost of between R4 560 and
R4 732.

The City issued a directive in July, which allows them to install water management devices on premises where the water usage is unjustifiably excessive.

During July and August, the City sent letters to 21 500 households warning them that if their excessive use was not changed, a water management device would be installed.

Of the 21 500 letters, only 281 households wrote back to request a quota extension and require an allocation higher than the 350 litre a day allocation for the households.

These requests will be evaluated by the water inspectorate, but households exceeding the water quotas will be restricted to 350 litres a day.

The process of restricting water supply to excessive use properties is therefore currently ongoing and excessive users in the areas of Rondebosch, will be visited over the coming weeks for the installation of water management devices.

Ms De Lille further reminds consumers to adjust the water-isolating valves (stopcocks) on their properties to reduce the flow rate and save water immediately.

“We thank the many Capetonians who have employed numerous simple and innovative ways to save water. They have helped us to stretch our reserves and continue to make a great impact in terms of the overall water-saving efforts.

“Saving water remains the most impactful and cost-effective intervention and so I appeal to all residents to continue saving water while we still have water to be saved.

“We have to do all we can to prevent our dam levels from dropping to extremely dangerous levels and this can only happen if we work together,” said Ms De Lille.