Capetonians, take note: Municipal water use only for essential purposes

Premier Helen Zille on Monday announced that a three-month disaster declaration will be gazetted this week.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has reiterated that municipal water can only be used for essential purposes.
The Western Cape has been declared a disaster area.

Premier Helen Zille on Monday announced that a three-month disaster declaration will be gazetted this week.

The City's Zara Nicholson explains some of the measures being taken to conserve water.

“The city will continue with large-scale pressure reduction programmes across the city to force consumption down. Other emergency interventions are underway. As dam levels decline, the city will implement the lifeline supply, which entails reducing the water pressure to a very low level across the metro.”

According to a statement, dam storage levels are now at 20,7%, which is 0,7% down from a week ago.

With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 10,7%. Consumption remains at 93 million litres above the consumption target of 600 million litres.

LISTEN: Western Cape declared a disaster area

The city has urged residents to follow these tips to save water.

Residents are reminded to use water only for drinking, washing and cooking:

  • Only flush the toilet when necessary. Don’t use it as a dustbin.

  • Take a short two-minute shower. A standard (non-water saving) showerhead can use as much as 16 litres per minute.

  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and reuse it to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning (bear in mind that greywater use has some health and hygiene risks you must avoid; keep hands and surface areas sanitised/disinfected).

  • Defrost food in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water.

  • Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.

  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be reused for the next wash cycle.

  • Switch to an efficient showerhead which uses no more than 10 litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws.

  • Upgrade to a multi-flush toilet or put a water displacement item in the cistern which can halve your water use per flush.

  • Fit taps with aerators or restrictors to reduce flow to no more than six litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws.

How to check for leaks on your property:

  1. Close all taps on the property and don’t flush the toilets.

  2. Check and record your meter reading.

  3. Wait 15 minutes and record the meter reading.

  4. If there is a difference in your meter reading, you have a leak.

  5. Call a plumber if it's not a DIY job.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)