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City of Cape Town renews calls to residents to reduce water usage amid load shedding

Cape Town – With rolling blackouts, the City of Cape Town said its water supply operations were being affected in spite of contingency measures and called on residents to reduce water usage to mitigate the situation.

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It said current consumption levels remained above 850 million litres per day.

Acting mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, councillor Siseko Mbandezi, the ongoing high stages of load shedding was causing a number of operational challenges for water supply.

These included water treatment plants sustaining production and the ability of pump stations to move water through the supply network to reservoirs and areas across the municipality.

The potential knock-on effect of load shedding was that it impacted the City’s ability to fill up reservoirs as quickly as it was required to meet demand.

Some higher-lying areas may experience low water pressure or supply disruptions in the event of power outages affecting the booster water pump stations, which are requires in some areas to convey water to the reservoirs supplying the higher-lying areas across the city.

“The longer we have to contend with load shedding, the greater the potential impact on our infrastructure, in spite of our best efforts.

“I, therefore, reiterate my call to residents and businesses to please be extra mindful of their water use over this time.

“While we have to be water-wise at all times, load shedding is an added complication that requires even more resolve.

“We issued a call just over a week ago, requesting that Cape Town works to reduce daily water consumption to 850 million litres.

“We are still sitting at just over 900 million litres per day, so I appeal to everyone to do their bit and help protect the reliability of our water supply,” Mbandezi said.

The City of Cape Town reminded residents that:

  • Cape Town’s tap water remains safe to drink
  • Dams are at 70%+ so there is not water shortage issue
  • The aim is to ensure treated drinking water can be supplied sustainably throughout periods of load shedding
  • Load shedding results in low water pressure in high-lying areas

Reduce water usage and follow some of the regulations already in place:

  • Hosepipes used for watering or washing vehicles, boats and caravans (when permitted) must be fitted with a controlling device such as a spray nozzle or automatic self-closing device.
  • Watering is only allowed before 9am or after 6pm to avoid evaporation losses in the heat of the day. This applies to watering/ irrigation with municipal drinking water and is also recommended for alternative water, e.g. borehole and well-point water.
  • All swimming pools must be covered by a pool cover to avoid evaporation when not in use.
  • Only flush toilets and do washing when really necessary. This will help reduce pressure on the sewer network and wastewater treatment works.

The City also urged residents who may have problems persisting for more than four hours to make contact with any of its channels. WhatsApp 060 018 1505, email water@capetown.gov.za or call 0860 103 089. Alternatively, follow the City’s Twitter account @CityofCTAlerts for operational updates.

robin.francke@inl.co.za

IOL

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