Critical drought warning remains in place with consumption spiking again

Water generic

All water users are warned not to increase consumption as dam levels remain critically low and rainfall uncertainty high. Dam storage levels are at 23,1%. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 13,1%. Worryingly, consumption has again shot up and is 40 million litres per day above the target of 600 million litres per day. 

Members of the public are advised not to relax their water-saving efforts. Since 6 June 2017, when the recent big storm made landfall, and including subsequent spells of rain, dam levels have only increased by about 3,7%. Clearly, the drought crisis continues as dam levels are critically lower than usual at the start of the winter.

Due to the severity of the drought, above-target consumption, as well as the unpredictability of climatic conditions, Level 4 water restrictions remain in place indefinitely over the long-term and could be intensified if warranted.

“Apart from safeguarding our current sustainability, we must think about building additional reserve capacity by continuing with the most hard-hitting water-saving efforts that we can muster. It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and we must bear in mind that we are expecting an even tougher summer in 2018”.

“All consumers must continue to use less than 100 litres per person per day in total, whether at work, home, school or elsewhere,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

The City’s Water Resilience Task Team has been set up to boost the City’s response to drought, to ensure that acute water shortages are avoided, and to transform Cape Town’s water landscape into one that ultimately relies less on surface water. Work continues in this regard.

The City has appealed to the courts for tougher action to assist with the tackling non-compliance of Level 4 restrictions. The City has managed to negotiate the maximum spot fine for a contravention and that it be raised to R5 000, rising to R10 000 or even a prison sentence for serious or repeat offences as per the new fine schedule for Level 4 restrictions.