Normally submerged tree stumps are seen at Theewaterskloof dam near Cape Town

Cape Town – Water wasters could face jail time should the city appeal to the courts for tougher action to be taken for non-compliance to Level 4 water restrictions.

"The City has managed to negotiate the maximum spot fine for a contravention and that it be raised to R5 000, rising to R10 000 or even a prison sentence for serious or repeat offences as per the new fine schedule for Level 4 restrictions," Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, said.

With dam levels still at critically low levels, stored water has risen slightly to 23.1%. This is an increase of 3.7 percentage points over the past two week.

On Monday, dam levels were:

* Berg River Dam – 34.2%

* Steenbras Lower – 28.8%

* Steenbras Upper – 58.8%

* Theewaterskloof – 17.3%

* Voëlvlei – 18%

* Wemmershoek – 36.6%

Limberg said it was worrying that collective water consumption was still 40 million litres above the target of 600 million litres a day and with the uncertainty of rain, Level 4 restrictions would remain in place indefinitely and "could be intensified if warranted".

"Apart from safeguarding our current sustainability, we must think about building additional reserve capacity by continuing with the most hard-hitting water-saving efforts that we can muster.

"It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and we must bear in mind that we are expecting an even tougher summer in 2018.

"All consumers must continue to use less than 100 litres per person per day in total, whether at work, home, school or elsewhere," she said.

Queries, complaints and contraventions of the restrictions can be reported to [email protected] or via SMS to 31 373.

Evidence should be provided to assist the city’s enforcement efforts.