Cape Town tightens water curbs

by Farren Collins, December 02 2015, 05:56

 

Picture: THINKSTOCK

 

 

 

 

 

CAPETONIANS will have to fork out or reduce water usage after new restrictions were given the green light, placing residents in the same situation as those in Johannesburg and Durban, which are also affected by a prolonged dry spell.

Cape Town’s mayoral committee approved the implementation of proposed Level 2 water restrictions on Tuesday after a 15% drop in dam levels was reported for this time of year.

Water tariffs will be affected and users will have to reduce consumption by at least 10% to compensate for the increase.

“If a resident normally uses 24kl of water every month at a cost of R294‚62‚ and they reduce consumption by 10%‚ they will receive a bill for a similar amount‚” said city spokesperson Priya Reddy. “However‚ if implementation of the Level 2 tariff is passed by council‚ 24kl will cost them R344‚75.”

The council would decide on December 10.

On Monday, the Western Cape provincial cabinet asked Parliament for the province to be given a disaster classification. The request is pending.

“The decision follows input from the provincial disaster management authority with regards to the water situation‚” environmental affairs MEC Anton Bredell said.

The city released a list of “stringent regulations” including no watering of gardens from 9am to 4pm‚ and for all irrigation to be done on Tuesdays‚ Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Due to the city’s effective demand strategies‚ our water supply is more secure than many other metro‚” said city councillor for utility services‚ Ernest Sonnenberg.

“Given that Cape Town is situated in a semi-arid area‚ it is important that we are not complacent. I would like to call on all residents to familiarise themselves with the list and take an active role in ensuring that the restrictions are obeyed. If we all make the required effort‚ there will be no risk of the taps running dry any time soon.”

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Several provinces across the country are experiencing hot and dry conditions. The extreme weather conditions are largely due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

The CSIR confirmed that significant rainfall is only expected by March next year.

Speaking on AM Live, the Council’s Principal Researcher, Dr Francois Engelbrecht says the lack of rainfall in the last two seasons are to blame for the drought.