Use Water Wisely
The provincial water situation is being assessed on an on-going basis. 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.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape says currently only two areas in the province, one on the West Coast and the other in the Central Karoo has had water restrictions implemented.
“No disaster area has been declared in the province to date. Dam levels across the province are on average around 70% to 75% full. This is however much lower than in previous years and remains a concern given that we are facing the dry, warm months of December to February.”
Colin Deiner, head of Western Cape Disaster Management, says the province had a big drought in 2010-2011 that was managed well.
“The lessons we learnt and the experience gained is informing our current plans and strategies.”
Deiner says the WCDMC is working on forecasts and analyzing trends to make sure the province is ready in the event of a disaster being declared anywhere in the province.
“We are checking our contingencies and working hard on our preparedness. If you are well prepared, the impact of any disaster is certainly much less severe.”
Bredell says the Western Cape is a dry province and rainfall patterns have shown a decreasing trend over the past few years.
“Predictions show that rainfall will decrease further over years to come. We must therefore use water wisely. And there is a lot we can do as citizens of the Western Cape. Pollution of water resources and water wastage for example are two areas of huge concern to us. These are areas where everyone can make a real difference by doing things differently and alerting us to problems speedily,” says Bredell.
A few tips on using water wisely:
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.
Don’t rinse glasses and cutlery under running water.
Cut down the amount of water flushed down the toilet pan. Simply place a two-litre plastic bottle full of water in the cistern of your toilet. You could save up to 7 300 litres of water per year.
Only water your garden before 10:00 or after 16:00
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.
Please see attached additional tips on water usage.