Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has approached the Western Cape provincial government to have the city declared an emergency disaster area and adopt “water shedding” measures in a move she believes will see water prices soar across the city according to a report by News24.
De Lille noted that the dams currently being used to supply the city were at 33% capacity and that the next step for the city would be more drastic and expensive measures in order to supply water tot eh city, which would push water prices up by at least 50%.
The measures would include the further treating waste water so that it is potable, drawing water from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer and the Cape Flats Aquifer, and a planned R15 billion desalination project with Eskom that would cost R1.2 billion in operating expenditure.
De Lille also warned that the dams were nearing 10% capacity, at which point the city would have to provide water intermittently similar to how Eskom dealt with 2008’s electricity crisis.
“We’re working together with the hospitality industry, from the airport when they arrive, right into the hotel rooms, we’re asking them to save water with us,” she said.
“We’re all scared, we all fear for the worst and I think especially about our children, the school children and elderly who will be the worst affected.”
Name and shame
The city of Cape Town recently published a list of the most egregious users across the metropole in the hopes that naming and shaming those responsible would help curb usage. The city also plans the identities of residents or commercial properties once they have paid a fine or appeared in court for flouting water restrictions.
For reference, the average South African household uses 250 litres of water a day or 7,500 litres a month according to the most recent Stats SA data. This means that a typical South African household consisting of 3 children and two parents would use an average of 37,500 litres of water a month.
Cape Town’s biggest water users
|Road||Amount used (litres)|
|Haywood Road, Crawford||702 000|
|Manenberg Avenue, Manenberg||655 000|
|Boundary Road, Lansdowne||557 000|
|Upper Hillwood Road, Bishop’s Court||554 000|
|Norwhich Drive, Bishop’s Court||500 000|
|Pear Lane, Constantia||461 000|
|Barchan Circle, Big Bay||457 000|
|Hoeveld Road, La Concorde||443 000|
|Montana Road, Colorado Park||441 000|
|Charnwood Avenue, Tokai||431 000|