By Tyler Leigh Vivier

On 1 June the Cape Town City Council will have a meeting to look at the planned level-4 water restrictions that will be put in place.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, says everyone should be using no more than 100 litres of water a day – starting today!

Even though level-4 water restrictions have not been put into place yet, she encourages everyone to start the restricting their water usage to 100 litres per day from today.

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On 16 May 2017, the dam water level was 21.6%, so that means 11.6% of usable water

“Unfortunately, there is still an increase in consumption. We are sitting at 710 litres of collective use per day. And that is obviously a result of the heat. As it gets hotter, the people tend to consume more water.”

“We are urging residents to only use drinkable or municipal water for essential purposes. And this is what is entailed in the level-4 water restrictions that will be going to our mayoral committee meeting today for consideration and recommendation for council to implement.”

“It includes no watering or irrigation with municipal drinking water allowed at all. Previously, in level 3b, we allowed our customers to water on a Tuesday and a Saturday between certain hours. That is no longer allowed.” – Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member

As for the reported water leaks around the Western Cape, water response teams have been jacked up. The response times should be improving. She encourages anyone to make personal contact with her if there are any delays in response.

Water restrictions being put into place:

  • Flush your toilets manually with buckets using grey water, rain water or other non-drinking water.
  • No irrigation with municipal water allowed at all.
  • No washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans or boats using municipal water. May only use non-drinking water or waterless products
  • No topping up or filling of swimming pools at all, either manually or automatically.
  • Consumers encouraged to use 100 litres per day per person.
  • Those using boreholes or treated effluent water, spring water or well points are encouraged not to irrigate within seven days after rainfall.

Know your relationship with water:

Knowing where your highest consumption lies is the first place to start making changes.

These are the daily water consumption stats for an average household:

  • A bath: 150-300 litres
  • Shower: 50-100 litres
  • Flushing a toilet: 10 litres
  • Washing dishes by hand: 23 litres
  • Dishwasher: 20-40 litres.
  • Washing machine: 40-80 litres
  • Defrosting food under the tap: 25-50 litres
  • Leaving the water running for 1,5 minutes while you brush your teeth: can use more than 18 litres.
  • Washing your car with a hose: 200-500 litres.

While 100 litres doesn’t seem like much looking at the list above, if we all reduce our water usage, we become a part of the solution and can make a meaningful contribution.