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#WaterCrisis: Borehole use limited under #Level6 restrictions

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA Pictures

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA Pictures

Published Dec 28, 2017

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has reminded residents that Level 6 water restrictions will apply from January 1. 

This is in a bid to help avoid Day Zero when most of the city's taps will be turned off and residents will have to queue for fresh water. 

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The City of Cape Town is retaining its water usage target of 87 litres per person per day, despite around 200 000 households currently using more than 10 500 litres of water per month (more than 350 litres per day) "which is simply far too high", the City said. 

Households that continue to use more than 10 500 litres a month could be fitted with water management devices, the City said. 

The national Department of Water and Sanitation needs urban users to cut their use by 45% and agricultural users to reduce consumption by 60%.

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Under Level 6 water restrictions, borehole use will be limited. Residents are discouraged from using borehole water for outdoor use, in a bid to preserve groundwater resources. 

Graphic: Lance Witten/Cape Argus

"If water usage is kept at 87 litres per person per day for essential indoor usage only then there should be no reason for any spike in consumption, whether it is hot or cold," the City said. 

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"The daily water usage limit will remain at 87 litres per person per day, wherever you are, unless targets continue to be missed as is currently the case," Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said. "We would then consider lowering usage targets further in an effort to adhere to these new restrictions and also to avoid Day Zero when most of our taps will run dry."

Residents who have valid reasons for monthly consumption higher than the 10 500 litre restriction limit, must apply to the City to get a quota increase prior to a device being installed (e.g. there may be more than four people living permanently on the property, or for medical reasons).

"A household of four people should use far less than 350 litres per day. Most households actually use approximately 300 litres per day. However, households with high consumption typically use between 670 and 1 500 litres of municipal water per day, with some households using even more. This could be two to five times as much as the average household uses.

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"With the average household size in Cape Town closer to three people, much can still be done to ensure that we are not queueing for water in March or April 2018. Our hot and dry summer is here. We are not going to be given many more chances to really reduce our water usage. We have to do it now.

"If we lower our water usage and the City keeps on working hard to make additional water supply available, we can avoid Day Zero, but only if we work together. There are so many water users who have done a superb job to cut their water usage. Those who have not done so continue to place us all in danger," De Lille said. 

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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