Dam storage levels remain alarmingly low. Picture: Denzil Maregele/ANA pictures
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town believes the influx of tourists during the approaching summer season will have little impact on the current drought.

The average dam levels across the province currently stand at 33.6% compared with 61% last year.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, said that in spite of the large number of tourists expected, “domestic users who permanently reside in Cape Town will still be the largest users”.

“Our experience shows that the local outflow of people over the festive season mostly balances the inflow”

However, Limberg said the only way to ensure that tourists do not place a strain on the current water supply is to provide enough information to those entering the city.

“We will have to do our utmost to ensure that we spread the message of water saving and the restrictions.”

She said the same water restrictions in place for residents of Cape Town apply to tourists entering the city.

She said this was the first time that Level 5 water restrictions had been implemented.

Businesses have been to told to reduce their usage by 20% over the next month. If they don’t adhere to this they will be fined for every month that usage is not reduced.

“Systems are being worked on to enhance the monitoring and enforcement of this.”

One business that is doing its bit to save water is hotel group, Tsogo Sun.

John van Rooyen of Tsogo Sun said they had introduced several measures to save water. “These include installing aerators and flow restrictors on taps, as well as low-pressure shower heads, which have reduced the water flow in the shower to less than 9 litres per minute and the basin taps to less than 3l per minute.

“The frequency of replacing linen and towels has also been reduced and we have replaced the linen serviettes in our restaurants with good quality paper serviettes.”

He said pools were being topped-up using grey water that had undergone extensive filtration processes.

“Since implementing these water-savings measures, Tsogo Sun’s hotels in the Western Cape have decreased their water consumption by about 17.8% amid increased occupancy levels.”

In terms of a date for day zero, both the province and the City said they were not able to predict this.

James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell, said: “For the province, there is no set date at present. There’s too many variables including continuing rain”

[email protected]

Cape Argus