Cape Town residents urged to reduce water consumption

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pretoria - The City of Cape Town has called on residents to bring down their water use as the drought crisis continues.

“We are asking all water users to reduce their water usage to 100 litres per person per day,” said the City on Monday.

The City said dam storage levels now stand 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. The City said Cape Town, as the largest water user of the Western Cape Water Supply System, has achieved the 20% savings target set by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.

“We thank all residents, businesses and government departments for their water saving efforts but we simply have to do a lot more as consumption remains too high,” said the City.

Cape Town is experiencing the harsh impacts of climate change, with reduced annual average rainfall and abnormal water patterns. No sufficient rain is predicted for the next three weeks.

To resolve the issue of water leaks and complaints, the City of Cape Town has allocated R22 million to employ additional staff for its first line response teams, who are deployed to attend to water faults reported to the city’s call centre.

About 75 additional staff have been employed to improve the response time to water complaints. The staff is able to identify problems, do some repairs, isolate leaks and call in the appropriate level of response to do major repairs.

Since the implementation of water restrictions, the City’s call centre and first line response teams have been inundated with calls about water faults and leaks.

City staff attended to approximately 800 water and sanitation complaints related to water leaks and faults on a daily basis.

The City said it is doing all it can to drive down consumption, with some residents having heeded the call and cut down on their water consumption. However, the City said other residents were yet to do this.

“Every single water user must use less than 100 litres per person per day. This is not negotiable,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, Xanthea Limberg.

The City is continuing large scale pressure reduction programmes across Cape Town to force down consumption.

Other emergency interventions are underway and as dam levels decline, the City will start to implement a lifeline supply, which entails reducing the water pressure to a very low level across the metro.

The City is also monitoring the use of the top 100 residential users to ensure that corrective measures are taken.

The City reminded residents to use water only for drinking, washing and cooking. Other tips given to residents include to only flush toilets when necessary and to take short, two minute showers among others.

Residents can contact the City via email to for queries or to report contraventions of the water restrictions. In addition residents can also send an SMS to 31373 or visit the water restrictions page on

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