Cape Town – The city has warned that come Monday it is to name and shame water hogs, as Mayor Patricia De Lille issued notices on Thursday to residents guilty of high consumption in her home suburb of Pinelands.
De Lille said the identities of all customers who paid admission-of-guilt fines or appeared in court regarding contravention of Level 3B water restrictions will be made public.
She said the city would also publish the lists of fines issued in various areas where contraventions took place, including street names but without numbers.
“We will also be writing to these customers demanding that they provide the city with an explanation for their relatively high water use. Our investigations will continue should no satisfactory explanation be given,” said De Lille.
The City was monitoring commercial, industrial, and government properties where consumption was regarded as high, based on their accounts over the past 12 months.
She said all suburbs had customers with high water usage, warning that the four area-based mayoral committee members will also be going to several high consumption properties in their areas.
The city’s Water and Sanitation Management Department has identified 20 000 residential consumers with high consumption as well as commercial customers and government departments since the implementation of restrictions.
“Out of the 1 million customers we provide with formal metered water connections, these formal households (the 20 000) have been identified as having excessive use of over 50 000 litres per month."
“This is unacceptable and I am making it my mission to engage with these customers so that they adhere to Level 3B restrictions as their abuse of water means that we all will suffer,” said De Lille.
“The City also continues to step up enforcement of Level 3B restrictions with our teams conducting regular operations and issuing fines to those flouting water restriction regulations."
“In the coming weeks, we will continue our operations in all areas to bring the highest consumers to book.”
She said she also visited the local shopping mall in Pinelands where the consumption had decreased steadily over the past year.
This as dam levels were at 26% on Thursday.
The City said by reducing consumption to 700 million litres of collective use per day, and at the current draw-down rate on dams, it could be looking at about 135 days of useable water left.
The City’s overall usage target of 800 million litres of collective use per day has not been met for the past few weeks.
The provincial government announced that it had made several interventions to alleviate water stress including availing R60 million in fodder relief for the agriculture sector and R22m transferred to municipalities for augmentation including new boreholes and infrastructure upgrading.
Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said the Eden and Overberg districts had sufficient water for four to six months.
He said all towns in the Central Karoo district depended either solely or partially on borehole-water while in the West Coast District Municipality all municipalities have instituted severe water restrictions and some of the municipalities continued to rely on the Clanwilliam dam which was at about 45%.
“The biggest short-term opportunities in responding to the immediate water crisis currently lies in non-revenue water reduction, private reuse and recycling, and water conservation and demand management investments."
“These types of plans and interventions are no silver bullets given the challenges we face, but there can be little doubt that the work being done will contribute significantly to addressing the water challenges,” said Bredell.