Warning over higher stages of water restrictions in Gauteng

 ·5 Oct 2022

Rand Water has urged residents in Gauteng to implement water-saving strategies to avoid necessitating the move to higher stages of restrictions in the province.

Large parts of Gauteng, including the major metropolitan municipalities of the City of Joburg, City of Tshwane and the City of Ekurhuleni, were hit with stage 2 water restrictions this week, following increased demand from an ongoing heatwave and damage to infrastructure from load shedding.

Speaking to NewzroomAfrika, Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo said that stage 2 water restrictions see bulk supplied water pressure reduced by about 30% to various customers.

Under these circumstances, tap water should still be available to the municipalities Rand Water feeds water to, but it won’t come out of the taps as strong as before, Maroo said.

In instances where taps have run dry, this may be as a result of decisions taken by individual municipalities, she said.

However, she warned that if public consumption of water does not ease up and reservoirs are unable to fill up quickly enough, affected regions will have to move up to higher stages of restrictions.

“We will have to move up to different stages to ensure we manage the situation,” she said, adding that any changes to the water situation will come with advance warning.

“There is a plan; we always communicate with our clients – the municipalities in this case. We warn them in advance – we warned them about a month ago to say we are monitoring our reservoirs.”

For Rand Water, water restriction levels affect the overall supply of water to municipalities from its reservoirs. This is a 20% cut at level 1, 30% at level 2, etc.

However, she assured that there will not be a ‘complete switch-off’ of water supply, noting that the reservoirs cannot function this way.

“It would take us forever to refill the reservoir – we will not run completely empty,” she said.

Water restrictions

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africans consume approximately 237 litres of water per day, more than the world average of 173 litres.

Municipalities have varying restrictions in play during different stages. According to ward councillors in Joburg, the following restrictions apply at various stages:

Stage 1

  • Watering of gardens is not allowed between 06h00 and 18h00 in the summer months (September 1 to March 31).
  • Using garden hoses to clean hard surfaces is also not allowed.

Stage 2

  • Sprays and sprinklers are banned.
  • Handheld hosepipes can only be used between 17h00 and 19h00.
  • Vehicles should be cleaned between 17h00 and 19h00, using hoses that have a trigger nozzle.

Stage 3

  • Sprinklers and other sprays and dripper systems aren’t allowed.
  • Handheld hoses can only be used for 15 minutes between 17h00 and 19h00.
  • The use of grey water is advised.
  • Filling of pools is allowed for 15 minutes using hosepipes.

Stage 4

  • Outdoor irrigation of commercial and industrial spaces is banned.
  • Buckets of water must be used to wash vehicles.
  • No filling of swimming pools.
  • Recycling is encouraged, such as the use of grey water.

Stage 5

  • All limits of level 4 are upheld.
  • The efficient and moderate use of water is encouraged.

Stage 6

  • Non-residential households and properties must cut consumption by 45%.
  • Water drawn from boreholes should not be used for outdoor purposes.
  • Watering for agriculture should be reduced to 60%.

Read: Stage 2 water restrictions hit Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni – here are the areas affected

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