Only 100 Days of water for Cape Town

For Moments of Joy. Follow our social channels
for useful news, daily local champions
+27(0)72 350 2062
Ideas Cartel, The Old Foundry, 1 Sand Hill Road, Green Point

Only 100 Days of water for Cape Town

Possible Level 3b water restrictions as of 1 February 2017!

This article is about the water restrictions imposed in early February 2017. But as of 2 July 2018, dam levels have improved significantly, so much that the City believes that current conditions warrant a relaxation of the restrictions. There’s little change on Day Zero until 2020: Read the Latest Cape Town dam level update, including Theewaterskloof dam.


Last Updated: 20 January 2017

Cape Town will have to intensify water restrictions as a result of waning dam levels and constant water use above the daily water usage targets.

The Mother City’s dam levels are expected to dip to around 20% in the next few months with some experts warning that the city has just enough water for the next 100 days. Most residents have complied to the call to save water, acting in a selfless manner to ensure that their usage is kept at a limit.

“Sadly, this cannot be said about all of our residents with  our water usage being consistently above the target. We will continue to take action against these culprits and will target the City’s top 20 000 high water users – the majority of whom reside in formal areas of the metro. We are committed to bringing this group to the forefront. They are scuppering all of our efforts to bring down water usage,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Councillor Xanthea Limberg

“We must remember that formal residential consumers are by far the biggest users of potable water in the municipal area, consuming approximately 70% of the total water supplied. In winter, residential consumption levels are substantially lower. Therefore, if residents could use water how they would in the rainy winter season, the current consumption would definitely go down.”

Cape Town's dam levels are now at 42,5%! | Image Credit: SABC News

According to experts, there will be severe effects in both the short term and long term if dams reach critical levels.

Here are some of the consequences:

  • Poorer Quality Water - The quality of water deteriorates when it reaches such low levels.
  • Unemployment - When dam levels become dangerously low, farmers’ crops die as a result of drought – forcing  farmers to lay off staff to keep costs down.
  • Health Problems - The droughts will have social impacts like health problems related to low water flows and poor quality water, health problems related to dust, reduced incomes and fewer recreational activities.
  • Lack of Food and Rising Prices - We can expect food price hikes. Produce under severe strain includes wheat, maize, beef, sheep and sugar.
  • Drought Refugees - Experts say that in the wake of a drought, population migration follows as people uproot in search of food and water.
  • Boreholes - Boreholes are sunk as a result of poor water supply. Groundwater extraction can, however, have negative impacts such as land sinking, saltwater intrusion and drop in water quality.

New restrictions, if adopted by Council, will include the following:

Level 3

Level 3b

Watering/irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only if using a bucket or watering can. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed. Watering times are not restricted, however, residents are urged to limit their watering to the mornings and evenings.

Watering/irrigation (with municipal drinking water) of flower beds, lawns, vegetables and other plants, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day per property and only if using a bucket or watering can. No use of hosepipes or any sprinkler systems allowed.

No watering/irrigation is allowed within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

No watering/irrigation is allowed within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

Washing (using potable water) of vehicles and boats only is allowed if using a bucket.

No washing of vehicles or boats using municipal drinking water is allowed. Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or washed at a commercial carwash.

Further to the above:

  • No washing of vehicles, including taxis, using municipal drinking water at transport interchanges will be allowed.
  • No more irrigation using potable water will be permitted at City facilities.
  • No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350-litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies.

Customers should note that water pressure may be reduced to limit water leaks and that slight changes in water taste and clarity may occur due to low dam levels. For further information, residents can visit our water restrictions page on the website: Customers can also contact the City via email to for queries or to report contraventions.

By Garth Prins


Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smart phone, add to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

Cape Town Events Calendar
November 2022
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Cape Point Vineyards Wine and ClimbEnjoy this 2-in-1 hike and wine tasting ...

Hike and wine tasting every last Sunday at Cape Point Vineyards

Old Fashioned MonthThe best bars for Old Fashioneds + how ...

Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe

Fairtrade giveawayTake a quiz, win coffee + tea for a ...

Life isn’t fair. But you can be (and win). It takes 2 minutes

SotanoEnd Your Weekend On A High Note At ...

Share a meal with friends, listen to live reggae + watch the sunset over the sea

Drumstruck performersDrumstruck at Silvermist! African drum ...

Drumstruck is back from Broadway and playing for a limited run in Cape Town

Distiller's UnionMake your unique brand of gin

At Distiller’s Union you get to also pick the flavour, colour + do a beer tasting with ...

Elvis BrewElvis Blue’s “lekka” padstal on ...

Elvis Brew in George has the closest viewing deck for large aircraft in SA

Bar KeeperBar Keeper is open on Sundays till ...

Order 1 bottle to many cases online or in store, get it delivered same day, cold

Art Haus origamiLearn how to do origami from a Guinness ...

Help an artist create an art piece and learn to make origami from a pro

Cape Town Heritage ToursTour the peninsula on foot and learn ...

Heritage Tours tells gripping stories on walks from the city to Simon’s Town

Camissa Gospel Tours Listen, connect and sing along at ...

Join a Sunday service with Camissa’s Gospel Tour + connect with culture

The Purple WindmillWeekend market that has it all

Craft beer, kids playpark, aqua golf, target shooting, donkeys and more

Blue Train ParkKids Party Idea: Take a ride on the ...

BOOK Now and let the outdoor adventure begin!

Cafe Extrablatt buffetThis Sunday brunch could be your new ...

At Café Extrablatt there are waffles, omelettes, pastries, bacon, cereals and…

Cafe Extrablatt workingAll you can eat breakfast buffet every ...

A bottomless buffet, free wifi and a vibey shisha lounge at Café Extrablatt

Breathwork Africa foundation3+ ways to get your breath back and ...

Classes, courses, retreats on conscious breathing run by the trainers leading the global ...

The Blue Room interiorLive jazz at The Blue Room

Dine, drink cocktails while top local muzos jam at this moody new bar

Taj kids bedHere’s an unbeatable deal: Kids stay ...

You’ll get 2 interleading rooms, 1 harbour + canal cruise and royal treatment

Some SundaysSome Sundays concert series is back

Picnic + listen to Mango Groove, Francois van Coke and others

Leopard's Leap FamilyLeopards Leap serves succulent ...

Family-style lunches are its speciality, plus there’s a big lawn for kids to play on

White Shark Cage Diving - BoatSpectacular rates on shark-cage diving ...

Where conservation meets adventure. FREE Buff + ask for current CapeTownMag specials

Ficks CocktailsFicks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

La Motte Tasting RoomVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

Klein Roosboom tasting caveTaste wine in a cave

Boutique winery with 6 six cosy tasting nooks. Plus platters, picnics + trails

Canto Wines champagne + macarons tasting3 unusual pairings at this Durbanville ...

From MCC to tonic tastings: there’s something at Canto for the whole family

GiveawaysTravel Tips