Cape Town drought may bring water restrictions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 Aug 2011

Cape Town may be subjected to water restrictions this summer because August and September are likely to be drier than usual, a climate researcher has warned.

Predicted below average rainfall will bring water restrictions

Peter Johnston, of UCT’s Climate Systems Analysis Group, said there was no need for desperate concern just yet – but this could change if no more winter rain fell.

Traditionally, the province’s dams are full in August and September. However, Johnston said, after the driest July in years, and with below average rainfall predicted for this and next month, water restrictions could become necessary.

The provincial government has urged farmers to store water for the summer months.

Johnston’s colleague, Mark Tadross, said a high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean was keeping storms away from the Western Cape. “We don’t know why (this is happening),” said Tadross. “Of concern is that the dams are well below what they should be (at) this time of the year.”

The regional manager for weather services in the Western and Northern Cape, Antarctica and islands, Johan Stander, said the forecast was dry for the next couple of months. “Because of climate change, adverse conditions will happen more frequently and storms will be more severe.”

Wouter Kriel, the spokesman for Agriculture, and Rural Development MEC Gerrit van Rensburg said:

“We are monitoring the rainfall, but there are no red flags yet. We are advising farmers to fill up their water storage facilities.”

Source: IOL

By-law requires water compliance certificate before property can be transferred

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 13 April 2011

Cape Town is located in a water scarce region with a high demand and usage during the summer months.

It is not legal to send rainwater via a gully to sewer

“The City’s amended Water By-Law, promulgated on 18 February 2011, provides an opportunity for the City to be pro-active and introduce water conservation and demand management measures to ensure sustainability of the water supply to its consumers,” says the City’s Director for Water and Sanitation, Philemon Mashoko.

All requirements of the Water By-law must be complied with as from the promulgation date.

One of the most important changes to the by-law is that a Certificate of Compliance of water installations must be obtained and submitted to the City upon the transfer of any property to a new owner. This applies to domestic, commercial and industrial properties and includes sectional title units.

A suitably qualified and accredited plumber in terms of the South African Qualifications Authority, must certify that:

  • the hot water cylinder complies with SANS 10252 and 10254
  • the water meter registers
  • there are no water leaks on the property
  • water pipes and terminal fittings are correctly fixed in position
  • no stormwater is discharged into the sewerage system
  • there is no cross connection between the potable supply and any grey water or groundwater system which may be installed

The conveyancer, on behalf of the seller/owner, needs to submit the completed and signed form via e-mail to The system will not delay the issuing of rates and taxes clearances by the municipality.

For more information call Danie Klopper on 021 590 1488 or click here and look under the ‘policies, laws and by-laws’ tab to view the amended Water By-laws and Certificate of Compliance document.

Source: City of Cape Town

Water Rhapsody – 18 years of water conservation experience for your home or business

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 03 April 2011

In the early 1990s water conservation pioneer, Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor, was dedicated to bringing water conservation to the residential home and business.

Saving water with Water Rhapsody Conservation Systems

In 1995 his efforts were rewarded with a WWF Green Trust Award for water conservation.

Today Water Rhapsody is a national concern with 25 outlets that provide professional advice on how water conservation can be introduced to your home or business.

With over 3000 installations Water Rhapsody can clearly state that they are the leaders in water conservation.

Water Rhapsody systems include:

1.       Garden Rhapsody (grey water) for garden irrigation or toilet flushing;
2.       Grand Opus – a rainwater harvesting solution for the home that augments municipal supply;
3.       Rainwater Harvesting for garden irrigation, pool top-up, washing cars, etc.;
4.       Poolside Tank to safely clarify swimming pool backwash water and return this to the pool;
5.       Multi Flush where the least amount of water is used to clear the toilet pan;
6.       Poseidon systems for recycling of mild industrial wastewater, car washing, machine washing, industrial laundry and irrigation.

To learn more about these systems click on the links above.

Where does our water come from?

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 March 2011

“South Africa needs to be more sensible about the use and management of land and water resources. The more we reduce the ecosystems’ ability to deliver clean fresh water, the less water secure we will be and the greater the cost we will have to pay for our water,” says Mark Botha, Head of WWF’s conservation programmes.

We need to concentrate more of our efforts on catchment security. Photo by: Peter Chadwick

This week (20-27 March) marks South Africa’s National Water Week 2011, and the theme for this year is, “Water for cities: addressing the urban water challenge.”

“Many South Africans, especially those living in urban areas do not have a full understanding of where the water that flows from their taps really comes from, and the key role clean catchments play in providing it,” says Botha.

“Cape Town has run out of water many times in the last century. Each time an expensive “supply side” solution was found to buy us more time, but always at a cost. Now, with augmentation (further water supply) options rapidly diminishing, we’re finding that the biggest cost of dams is the complacency that they leave us with as ratepayers.”

“At some point, we need to realise that we cannot only continue building more dams and other water infrastructure, but that it is imperative to invest in the natural resources that we already have. We need to concentrate more of our efforts on catchment security,” says Botha. Continue reading

Water rethink as migrants pour into Cape Town

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 December 2010

Tens of thousands of migrants pouring into Cape Town are forcing authorities to rethink the city’s water supply strategy.

Migration growth is now "16 000 households per annum" at 5 people per household

“There are quite large numbers of people coming in and the city needs to review its water-use growth strategy,” department of water affairs’ Western Cape chief director, Rashid Khan, told Sapa.

He said assumptions made by Cape Town’s water planners in 2007 were “now being overtaken by some serious developments, that is (population) growth”.

His remarks followed an announcement by the department that it was “exploring initiatives to ensure that water use in and around Cape Town does not outstrip supply in the near future”.

It had recently learned that “water use may be growing faster than anticipated”, despite significant successes achieved by the city in reducing water usage.

“An increase in demand could have serious implications for the supply area, as the next augmentation project may well have to be fast-tracked to ensure an adequate supply of water to every city, town and industry that gets its water from the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS). Continue reading