City calls for water restrictions to be observed

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
22 November 2009

Source: City of Cape Town – Media Release no 767/2009

Cape Town’s gardeners, while welcoming the onset of summer, must nevertheless be mindful of the need to conserve water says Alderman Clive Justus, Mayoral Member for Utility Services, which includes the Water and Sanitation Department.

He said that, throughout the city, he had observed residents disregarding the prohibition on watering their gardens between 10:00 and 16:00 and reminded them that low level water restrictions are still in place. lawns

Justus said that while our dams are full following the recent rains, this situation can change rapidly with the onset of strong South Easters, as we are experiencing at present, because they not only dry out gardens, but markedly increase the evaporation rate and draw-down rate of our dams.

He thanked residents of Cape Town for the co-operation the City has received over the past few years since it became necessary to implement water restrictions in terms of the Water By-Law. He nevertheless emphasised that we have no water reserves other than our dams, and this made it imperative to practise conservation.

Justus said we are living in a water scarce area and increasing signs of global warming and predictions that the Western Cape is likely to become increasingly arid were clear indications that wasting water could no longer be tolerated.

He reminded Capetonians that, notwithstanding the good winter rains, we are still on level 1 water restrictions as set out in the by-law. Among the most important restrictions relating to watering gardens are:
• The ban on watering gardens between 10:00 and 16:00
• Handheld hoses used for watering, must be fitted with an automatic self closing device
• Water may not be used for washing down hard surfaced or paved areas

These three measures, among others, have been implemented by the City in an attempt to reduce our use of drinking water by 10%, Justus said. Depending on rainfall during summer and into the autumn, and on the dam levels, it may be necessary to extend these restrictions to achieve greater water savings.

He asked residents to report leaking taps, pipes and hydrants to the Water Department at the technical call centre number 0860 103 054 or by e-mailing or by sending a fax to 021 957 4726.

He said that residents can also report water faults or ask questions without having to go through the call centre, by using an SMS of no more than 160 characters to the number 31373, which will save time, reduce call centre congestion, and eliminate the ‘queuing time’ when you are put on hold and often have to wait for your call to be answered. A reference number will be sent back to you

Justus said that without the co-operation of residents there simply would not be sufficient water to sustain the city through a long hot summer or to maintain the necessary reserves needed until the next rainfall season.

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