City calls for lowering of water restrictions based on dam levels

The City of Cape Town has called for a gradual relaxation of water restrictions. According to a press release sent out by the City this week the proposal was made during a meeting with the National Department of Water and Sanitation on Friday August 24.

“As dam levels have now exceeded 60% the City, on a risk-based analysis, has proposed to the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) that the water restriction levels should be conservatively and marginally relaxed,” reads the statement.

The City’s proposal is that the urban restriction be relaxed from 45% to 40% and the agricultural restriction be relaxed from 60% to 50%. The statement continued: “As the water supply situation has improved adequately, it is essential that an appropriate relaxation of restrictions takes place as soon as possible, not only so that economic activity can be improved, but also so that water tariffs can be relaxed from the current high levels to give the necessary tariff relief to households and businesses.

“These restriction levels were imposed by the DWS as part of the response to the severe drought in order to preserve the water in the dams supplying Cape Town, the Western Cape and the agricultural sector. This means, for instance, that Cape Town is required to reduce usage by 45% of what it would normally be allocated. This is also how the City’s target of reaching 450 million litres of water per day, or 50 litres per person per day, was calculated.”

This proposal was supported by the other municipalities in the system. Agriculture representatives motivated for a greater relaxation for agriculture. The DWS undertook to give a response by Friday August 31.