Cape Town water supply remains critical, moves to Level 4B water restrictions, despite winter rain!


On Saturday 1 July the City of Cape Town moved its water restrictions up one notch, to Level 4B, reducing the average daily consumption to 87 liters per person, from 100 liters per day previously. This move has been necessitated by the small impact that rainfall in May and June has made on our province’s water supply! 

It is not in my nature to copy and paste other sources of information on this Blog, but the City of Cape Town spells out the severity of the water situation, and provides helpful hints as to how each household can save even more water. It also calls on locals to not think that the current rainfall has eased the water situation, and that water saving is no longer necessary. It is for this reason that I present the City’s media release in full. 

‘Drought crisis: Level 4b restrictions from 1 July 2017

30 June 2017
The City of Cape Town advises all water users that stricter water restrictions will come into effect from tomorrow, 1 July 2017. Level 4b restrictions will be used to drive down water usage to 500 million litres of collective water usage per day which is required as dam levels remain critically low and reserves need to be built up during winter for the expected harsh summer months ahead.

In supporting Level 4b restrictions, the City requires all water users to immediately use less than 87 litres of water per person per day in total, irrespective of whether you are at home, work or elsewhere.

‘We cannot thank all of those water users enough who have been shining water ambassadors over the past months and who have helped us to drastically reduce our water usage.

‘But, as we are expecting a very dry summer 2018 and rainfall probability and volume remain incredibly uncertain, we must cut our water use even more to save as much water as we can while we still have water. We ask all users to use less than 87 litres of water per person per day in total whether you are at home, work, school or elsewhere. Importantly, this target is not only for home use.

‘This is part of our continuing proactive drought management interventions, along with intensifying the large-scale pressure reduction programmes across Cape Town to force down consumption. Other emergency interventions are under way.

‘However, there are many domestic consumers who are still using well in excess of 20 000 litres per month per household. We have been monitoring and engaging with high users and we will be issuing letters to them to warn them that we will be installing water management devices at properties with unjustifiably high consumption to limit their water use to acceptable levels,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Water management devices would be installed in terms of a directive issued by the Director: Water and Sanitation in terms of the Water By-law, clause 36 (1) (a) and (b).

The programme to intensify the monitoring of high use properties will continue through July. Many residents at high consumption properties which we have previously engaged with have rectified leaks on their properties and have addressed other causes for unacceptably high water usage. The City also continues engagements with stakeholders in business, the informal car wash sector, and government departments.

To get to below 87 litres of water per person per day in total, wherever you are, residents are asked to:

Only flush the toilet when necessary, wherever you are
Take a shower that is shorter than two minutes. Switch to an efficient shower head. Only do a ‘wipe down’ on alternative days to conserve water
Collect your shower, bath and basin water and reuse it to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning (bear in mind that greywater use has some health and hygiene risks you must avoid; keep hands and surface areas sanitised/disinfected)
Defrost food in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water
Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.
Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be reused for the next wash cycle
Upgrade to a multi-flush toilet and/or put a water displacement item in the cistern which can halve your water use per flush
Fit taps with aerators or restrictors to reduce flow to no more than six litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws
Check for leaks on your property and fix it immediately
For further information on how to adhere to the less than 87-litre usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website:

Residents can contact the City via email to for queries or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.

Please also note that water supplied by the City remains safe to drink, tested in accordance with the most rigorous safety standards’.

Just over a month ago Western Cape Premier Helen Zille announced the province as a Water Disaster area:

Premier Zille announces Western Cape a water disaster area: too little too late?

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter: @Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein


Please follow and like us:
Tweet 27k

WhaleTales Blog


We don’t spam!

Read our privacy policy for more info.