Water rationing in Cape Town – what you need to know

2 min read

As a result of the ongoing drought in Cape Town, the City of Cape Town activated water rationing as part of its Critical Water Shortages Management Disaster Plan on 24 October.

Currently dam storage levels are at only 38.5%, and useable water at only 28.5% in the Western Cape and according to the city water rationing is likely to result in water supply being disrupted during peak water usage times in the mornings (between 05:00 and 09:00) and in the evenings (between 17:00 and 21:00) if usage is above the required levels.

In a statement issued by the city it said that due to the critical nature of available water supply, all water users across the metro must expect water rationing which could lead to water supply disruptions,” it said.

“It must be noted that theoretically everyone should have water but that the duration of the outages would depend on the water usage for the area and whether it is within the water restriction levels.”

“The City supplies sufficient water to an area, but if the demand is too high then those in high-lying areas or high-lying properties will experience some outages. The City therefore appeals to those in lower-lying areas to reduce usage to assist in terms of outages in the higher-lying areas.”

Services will be restored as soon as demand decreases to within the limitations of Level 5 water restrictions.

Officials have issued a list of dos and don’ts.

Water users should keep at least between 5-10 litres of water available for drinking use only for the household during rationing, store additional water for pets, label water storage containers as ‘drinking water’ and ensure that all taps are closed when not in use to prevent damage/flooding when the supply is restored, among other things.

Residents have been warned against storing excessive municipal water ahead of water rationing or showering for more than a minute, among other things.

For information on how to meet the daily water usage requirement and more visit the water restrictions page on the city’s website here.