Water
Photo Credit: Steve Johnson via Pexels.

The catchment areas that feed the city have had a lower-than-average rainfall and usage in the city is at pre-drought levels so officials ask residents to please conserve water.

 

Cape Town, South Africa (31 January 2023) – South Africa is a drought-prone country so we always need to be mindful of water usage. Capetonians are well-versed in all the ways one can save water after successfully avoiding Day Zero. That knowledge may need to be dusted off and used again as the City of Cape Town has issued a cautionary warning about low rain levels and high levels of water usage.

According to the report, Cape Town experienced below-average rainfall during the 2022 hydrological year, and dam levels are now 62%, which is almost 25% lower than they were at this time last year. The City has set a collective water-wise daily usage target of 850 million litres to mitigate the risk of another below-average winter rainfall and to assist reliability of the water supply in light of ongoing load-shedding.

‘Capetonians have always stood together, and I’m asking Team Cape Town to again stand as one as we aim to collectively use less than 850 million litres daily. Staying within this target will help us maintain supply during sustained high stages of load-shedding, and put us in a better position next summer if we again have below-average winter rainfall.

‘The dams supplying Cape Town are losing, on average, about 2% of our total dam capacity per week. This past week we have used 949 million litres daily. This is 99 million litres daily over the collective use target. Cape Town’s dams are still above 50%, but our models show that dam levels will drop below 50% by the end of summer if we don’t meet this proactive water savings target. This may increase the need for water restrictions down the line, which we would ideally want to avoid,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

The city has implemented several programmes, which they detail here, that have helped towards the water crisis. Still, they ask that residents once again keep an eye on their own water usage and take proactive steps towards managing any issues.

What can residents do to help?

INDOORS:

1. Find and fix leaks. High water use could mean you have an undetected, expensive leak.
Check your meter regularly to identify leaks, and get them fixed quickly. See the City’s simple guides to help.
2. Don’t flush in a rush. Only flush when necessary and do not use your toilet as a dustbin.
New or replaced toilet cisterns may not exceed six litres for each flush.
3. Take short, stop-start showers or small baths. The maximum flow rate of new and replaced showerheads may not exceed seven litres.
4. Wash more with less, for laundry and dishes. Only wash clothes and dishes (pots, cups etc) when really needed. Wait for a full load before using washing machines and dishwashers. Hand washing and spot-cleaning can use less water.
5. Turn off taps when not using the flow. E.g. Use a cup for shaving and brushing your teeth.

OUTDOORS:

6. Close the hose, when washing the car. Hosepipes for washing vehicles, boats and caravans must be fitted with an automatic self-closing device. Stop-start your spray as you need it or bucket-wash your car or vehicle.
7. Stop-start and slow your spray. Use a controlling device at the end of the hose, like a sprayer (nozzle) or automatic self-closing device.
8. Beat the heat loss. Only water before 09:00 or after 18:00 to avoid evaporation losses.
9. Keep summer fun water-wise. Supervise very careful use of water for children’s play, and cooling in hot summer months. E.g. Use a wet cloth to cool down hot skin, and avoid wasteful spraying of water.
10. Swim, cover, save, repeat. Built-in and fold-away pools must be covered when not in use, to prevent up to 95% of evaporation losses. Recycle the backwash, and top up with rainwater or alternative water where possible.

You can find out more via the Save Water website here.


Sources: CoCt
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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