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City urges South Peninsula residents to conserve water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 19 November 2010

The City of Cape Town appeals to Capetonians, and especially residents in the South Peninsula area known as the ‘Deep South’, to assist in conserving water – after low rainfall has left dam levels lower than usual for this time of year.

The Lewis Gay Dam is only at 32% capacity after the winter rainfall period.

The lower than average rainfall this winter has particularly affected the southern catchment areas where the dams did not fill, including Steenbras, Table Mountain and Simon’s Town. Although Cape Town has experienced some later rains this year, dam levels are still low and water must be used sparingly.

The City has an integrated Bulk Water Supply System which allows optimisation of the water resources for the region, which means that that the low levels of the Steenbras and Table Mountain dams do not pose a problem.

The Deep South peninsula, however, cannot fully benefit from this integrated network, because of its position at the system’s extremity. The water in the Simon’s Town dams must therefore be conserved as much as possible in the coming summer season. While the supply to the Deep South is augmented from the main network via pipelines along the coast through Muizenberg and Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town, the dams above Simon’s Town play an important role in supplying certain areas in the Deep South.

Two dams in the southern catchment area have been worst affected, namely the Kleinplaas and Lewis Gay, with only 57% and 32% capacity respectively at the end of the winter rainfall period. The situation does not pose a risk for the coming summer season because the water in the two dams, combined with the augmented supply from the main supply network to the north, will suffice. However, if Cape Town experiences low rainfall again next year, the reserves for these dams will have already been depleted, and this is cause for concern. It is therefore very important to conserve as much water in these dams as possible, starting now. This can only be achieved in partnership with the community to ensure rigorous conservation efforts across the board.

The areas affected are those south of and including Fish Hoek, Clovelly, Sun Valley and Ocean View all the way to the southern end of the peninsular supply. The City will intensify its water conservation efforts in this region. All residents in these areas are requested to be especially conservative in their use of water in order to reduce the need for the introduction of restrictions.

“Although the situation has not yet reached a critical stage, it is more important than ever for residents in these areas to heed the City’s recommended conservation strategies. We are confident that if everyone pulls together we can avoid having to take more stringent measures. We have to save water now, while it’s still available,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Alderman Clive Justus.

Priority will be given to the implementation of pressure management in the Deep South as feasibility studies of the whole South Peninsula area have already taken place. These areas include: Retreat, Lavender Hill, Grassy Park, Marina da Gama, Capricorn Park, Steenberg and Tokai. Pressure management will be rolled out as funding becomes available, however, it will take several months before the first of these will be operational and the benefits felt.

In the meantime, the City urges residents and businesses in the Deep South to incorporate the following extra water conservation measures into their daily routine to lessen the demand upon the water resources:

  • Watering of gardens, lawns, parks and public open spaces should be carried out for one hour or less, three days per week.
  • The watering restriction can be relaxed for the purpose of watering plants in nurseries conducted for gain, nurseries owned by the City or state, collections maintained for research, cricket pitches or other sports greens or lawns, artificial turf fields and major sports stadia. Irrigation should, however, still be carried out in a responsible, water-efficient manner.
  • Automatic-flushing urinals should be turned off in all buildings during times when they are normally vacated by the public and/or staff (i.e. weekends, evenings, holiday periods).

Residents across the whole city are reminded that the Water By-law stipulates that watering gardens, lawns, parks and open spaces with potable water is not allowed between the hours of 10:00 and 16:00.

The City will continue to intensify its water demand management projects, programmes and campaigns across Cape Town.

Source: City of Cape Town

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