#EveryDropCounts: Water restrictions, high tariffs could be relaxed
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is hopeful that as dam levels increase, it can relax water restrictions and consider the possibility of lowering the associated tariffs.
The tariffs have been a source of growing discontent among the city's residents, who have questioned some of the methodology in hiking the rates.
The City of Cape Town, with its partners at provincial and national government level, is due to reassess the situation in August.
"The City has maintained that a risk overview is required to determine when an appropriate time would be to relax restrictions slightly," Cape Town's deputy mayor Ian Neilson said.
"The reason that an assessment is needed is born from two considerations: to ensure that water consumption remains as low as possible to boost the reserve water in the dams ahead of the summer months; and to help the dams recover adequately going forward. The other consideration is our consumers, the pressure on them and the sacrifices they have made to help Cape Town get through the severe drought.
"If water restrictions are lowered to appropriate levels, the City will then lower the associated water tariffs," he said.
"Restriction levels are linked to dam levels, and restriction tariffs are linked to the volume of water used by the city. This means that if the restriction level is reduced, individual use is expected to increase as the tariff decreases, ensuring the City receives the same total income. We will therefore continue to monitor the situation," he said.
Cape Town last week increased its consumption by 36 million litres, and was using 80 million litres more than the City's target of 450 million litres of water per day.
Winter water-saving tips
* Stick to short, stop-start showers or skip a day if you can
* In winter, water may take a bit longer to heat up. Don’t let the cold water run down the drain while you wait for it to heat up. Rather collect it in a clean container and use it to wash dishes or laundry
* Install flow restrictors on indoor taps to reduce the flow rate to less than 6 litres per minute. Low-flow shower heads can reduce flow to a maximum of 10 litres per minute. You can also reduce the water pressure to your property by turning your stopcock lower and/or installing a flow restrictor on the main pipe connection from your meter
* Continue to harvest rainwater and use it to flush the toilet or to clean floors
* Continue to switch between using waterless hand sanitiser and using water and soap to clean hands where possible