Water Wednesday: Cape Town water levels are critically low

Cape Town City’s Mayoral Committee has recommended that Council adopt Level 4 water restrictions. These restrictions would ban all use of municipal water for outside and non-essential use. The City has warned all water users to use municipal water for essential washing, cooking and drinking purposes only as dam levels are critical and consumption remains far too high.

Dams which feed the metropole dropped down significantly from last week. Dam levels are effectively standing at 9 percent because the last 10 percent of the water stored in dams is not usable.

“Use water only for drinking, cooking and essential washing. The intensified restriction also specifically makes reference to a limit on water use for these purposes to 100 litres or less per person per day. Please don’t flush your toilet unnecessarily as 10 flushes per day, for example, would almost be your entire water allocation for the day,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

“Furthermore, we expect water users who are making use of borehole water for irrigation to do so only on designated days as uncontrolled use of non-potable water affects us all. The City does however not regulate borehole use and it is a national government competency. Filling or topping up of pools is prohibited under Level 4 restrictions.”

If approved, the level 4 restrictions will come into effect from 1 June 2017. These will come with proposed fines that range between R1 000 and R5 000.

Meanwhile following the budget vote on 16 May 2017, the Minister of Water and Sanitation will deliver a keynote address at a dialogue that will be held to develop a National Water and Sanitation Master Plan. This dialogue with key water and sanitation stakeholders will be held on Friday, 19 May 2017 at CSIR, Pretoria. The dialogue aims to draw on the knowledge and experience from the participants on how best to develop a comprehensive plan that will address water and sanitation challenges in South Africa.

Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 92.1.

The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week decreased to 19.3  percent from last week’s 20.6 percent.

Here are latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

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