Significant rainfall has boosted the Theewaterskloof Dam. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The Water and Sanitation Department has not acceded to the City of Cape Town's call for a conservative easing of water restrictions.

The department has always maintained that provincial dam levels need to reach at least 85% before water restrictions can be relaxed, and steep water tariffs be adjusted accordingly.

The collective dam levels across the province stand at 55 percent, compared to 16 percent in April.

With Level 6b water restrictions in place, the City proposed that the urban water usage restrictions be relaxed from 45 to 40 percent, and the agricultural from 60 to 65 percent. These restrictions were put in place by the department. 

Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau told the SABC on Friday: "Based on where the situation is at, the department has decided to retain the restrictions as they are. We were due to look at it again at the end of the hydrological cycle, which is at the end of September."  

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said after a meeting with the department last Friday: “The City has advocated for a conservative relaxation of the restriction levels, which would pave the way for the associated relaxation of the restriction tariffs.

“The City has been advocating a risk-based and conservative adjustment of restriction levels for some time now.”

Ratau said last week: “But we are not even close to 70% (dam levels). Before the drought was at its peak our dam levels were quite high. What we need to do is to ensure that there is sufficient water for all users. 

"We are heading into the summer season where there is almost no rain.”