CT warned: Save water or face a full blown crisis

Dam levels are now below 35%, 10% lower than the same period last year.

Theewaterskloof Dam. Picture: Johnny Miller/Code for Africa.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government has reiterated that Cape Town residents must change their water consumption habits urgently or face a full blown crisis.

Dam levels are now below 35%, 10% lower than the same period last year.

Local Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell says the continued drop in dam levels is concerning.

He says government is working with the provincial disaster management centre to address the situation.

Bredell’s spokesperson James-Brent-Styan says, “Try and see what you can do to save even more water. We need to make sure we manage the resource adequately so that we go into the winter season with an adequate amount of water.”

Bredell will be discussing mitigating action to tackle the province's water challenges at the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday.

WATER SAVING EFFORTS

The City of Cape Town’s water inspectorate and law enforcement officers continue to perform regular water blitzes to educate residents about Level 3b restrictions and water usage.

During operations which took place in Constantia, Meadowridge, Wynberg and Bergvliet recently, officials encouraged borehole users to stick to the watering days and times that apply to municipal water use.

The City will be lobbying for the National Government to more tightly regulate this resource as more residents have turned to groundwater extraction for domestic use.

However, ofiicials says unfettered use of this resource is not sustainable and encouraged the responsible use of borehole water to offset the use of potable water for non-essential purposes, such as irrigation.

The blitz operation, which is part of the City’s regular water enforcement operations to ensure adherence to Level 3b water restrictions during this time of drought, found that many borehole users were watering their vegetation after 09:00.

After this time of day, evaporation is generally seen to increase which makes watering less effective and wastes the resource.

Officials also checked on whether the city's infrastructure was being run in accordance with the water restrictions and looked for leaks or blockages.

A total of 227 fines and 385 warnings have been issued since water restrictions came into effect.

In terms of policing, contraventions can result in a spot fine of up to R5,000, escalating up to R10,000 on conviction, or possible jail time for serious and repeat offenders. Spot fines can only be issued if the resident is caught in the act. In other cases, a contravention notice will be issued.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)