News

Water System Remains Under Pressure

10 November 2015

The Western Cape government is monitoring the water situation across the province on a daily basis.

“The system is under pressure and will come under additional pressure over the December holiday season when there will be an influx of visitors to the coastal areas across the Western Cape,” says Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape.

Bredell says the present levels of dams across the Western Cape that supply water for domestic use are still in a good state, with only some minor risks of failure.

“My Department, in full collaboration with the Department of Water and Sanitation, is continuously monitoring the situation closely to ensure any necessary restrictions get imposed in time to avert a potential crisis that may come up. In the Western Cape we believe preparedness is key to addressing any potential crisis,” says Bredell.

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre (WCDMC) is currently hard at work updating its preparedness plans in the event of an escalation with regards to water challenges in the Western Cape. Colin Deiner, head of the WCDMC, says municipalities in the Western Cape have pre-approved water restrictions, approved by council. “These haven’t been implemented to date but may be considered if necessary as we enter the dry summer months ahead.”

Bredell says municipalities may also consider implementing step up tariffs for high water use. “Consumers of a lot of water may start paying more on an escalating scale depending on the volume of usage. This may become a necessity to drive water savings.

Bredell has repeated his call on the public to use water wisely.

A few tips on water usage:

Re-use your bath/shower water by watering the garden.
Close the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your hands (this can save up to 20 litres of water).
Take shorter showers. A five minute shower uses around 70l of water. A bath can use up to 160l.
Don’t rinse glasses and cutlery under running water.
A dripping tap (one drop per second) could waste up to 30 litres of water an hour, which adds up to 10 000 litres a year.