Revised by-law to ensure responsible water usage

Johannesburg Water is calling on residents to use water sparingly and stop being reckless.

Generic tap water. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Water says it's in the process of tabling a revised by-law that will see responsible water usage become a way of life among residents.

While no water restrictions are being implemented at the moment, the water utility is calling on residents to use water sparingly and stop being reckless.

The utility's Managing Director Lungile Dlamini, said South Africans have had bad water use patterns for years.

"And I'm afraid our water footprint doesn't work well. Our water footprint is how much water you use per person, per day. I think it's sitting at 274, that's the national average."

Johannesburg Water said current water regulations allow for the implementation of water restriction in moments of crisis, but don't create good habits.

Once the by-law is passed, officials will be authorised to outline terms of use for irrigation systems and other activities that require high water consumption.


As parts of South Africa battle the effects of a drought, it's projected that Gauteng's dam levels could drop to just under 30 percent by January if dry and hot conditions persist.

Johannesburg Water said it will not be enforcing control measures, but is still calling for responsible usage.

Reservoir readings are being taken multiple times a day and officials say residents will be notified if active measures need to be taken.

The utility has described the city's 58 percent reservoir capacity as comfortable… for now.

Dlamini warned there is no way of fully determining how the weather may affect the situation.

"We are dealing with natural forces here which even science can't accurately predict."

The city said its decision not to implement restrictions isn't a sign of arrogance, but rather shows that it's been able to manage a tight situation.

Residents have been urged not to panic but to continue to use water sparingly.