Drought Crisis!

The City of Cape Town informs all water users that they can adjust the water-isolating valves (stopcocks) on their properties to reduce the flow rate and save water. Water consumption remains dangerously high and the City must use all means available to get down to 500 million litres of collective usage per day. Read more below:

Dam storage levels are currently at 31,1%, with useable water at approximately 21,1%. Collective consumption for the past week was 610 million litres per day. This is 110 million litres above the target of 500 million litres per day. As such, residents are requested to please adjust their stopcocks to reduce the flow of water to their property. Furthermore, all residents are encouraged to hold each other accountable when it comes to water wastage and to report contraventions of the water restrictions.

Pressure adjustments on bulk supply lines have helped to reduce consumption over recent months, and it is hoped that significant further reductions could be achieved if residents also reduce flow through the private-side isolating valve. Residents are advised that the City is intensifying its pressure reduction programme. From this week, the City will be lowering the water pressure in its reticulation network to about 2 bars at the critical control points in the various supply zones across the metro.

Further details of the City’s Water Resilience Plan will be announced by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille on Thursday 17 August 2017.

‘We continue to approach this unprecedented drought crisis in a proactive and innovative manner, via four main focus areas: promoting increased water conservation through restrictions, campaigns to encourage behavioural change, pressure management and restriction of supply to excessive users; procurement of emergency supply schemes; preparation for a day-zero actuality; and building medium- and long-term resilience as it pertains to water provision.

‘There is no single solution to this drought crisis. We are therefore looking at all possible options,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

A stopcock valve looks like the top part of a typical garden tap. It is the control tap which is used to isolate the private water installation. The stopcock is typically installed on the property between 1 to 1,5 m in from the front boundary.

How to adjust a stopcock to reduce water flow (this should ideally be done during the day):
• Close the stopcock by turning it in a clockwise direction, and open it again (about a half turn)
• Go to the tap furthest away from the stopcock (this could be inside the house, in the back garden/yard or in an upstairs bathroom)
• Open the cold water tap and see if there is sufficient water flowing
• If required, adjust the stopcock a half turn at a time until a reasonable but reduced flow rate of water to the furthest cold water tap is achieved

For information on how to meet the 87-litre per day usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: http://www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater and utilise our water calculator: http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT

Residents can contact the City via email to water@capetown.gov.za for queries about the water pressure reduction, 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.

Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.

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