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UPDATE: "Our Relationship with Water Continues to Evolve ...

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UPDATE: "Our Relationship with Water Continues to Evolve for the Better"

A real and radical behaviour change in water consumption helped get us through the water crisis

Latest update: 22 October 2018

The average water consumption by users has gone down slightly from 563 million litres per day to 556 million litres per day for the past week. The target is 500Ml/d.

It's encouraging news, since wind and heat will continue to evaporate water as we go deeper into summer. Over the last week, the City's dam levels declined slightly by 0,4% to 75,6% of storage capacity due to evaporation.

WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE AT 65.7%
The province's dam levels have declined slightly for the first time since the end of winter to 65.7%, which is still better than this time last year when levels were 36.57%.

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says though the three-year drought has been hard, it's also had a positive impact on water thinking in the province.

“We experienced radically changing perceptions and real behaviour change among consumers over a very short period. This contributed to the province getting through this crisis,” Bredell says.

And this is why we are in a good position to be a "water efficient and resilient society".


Berg River Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

NEW LEVEL 5 TARIFFS EXPLAINED
As of 1 October, water restrictions have been lowered to Level 5, meaning that personal water use has increased from 50 to 70 litres per person per day whether at home, work, school, gym or elsewhere. Most Capetonians will receive their first water bills after the drop from level 6 to 5 by the end of this month. So it’s worth looking at what to expect. Here's what you'll be paying. 

Residential tariffs (ex VAT)
0–6 kL: Down 26,6% from R28,90/kL to R21,19/kL
6–10,5 kL: Down 25% from R46/kL to R34,43/kL
10–35 kL: Down 56% from R120,27/kL to R52,39/kL
Above 35 kL: Down 70% from R1 000/kL to R300/kL

Commercial and Industrial tariffs
Down 18% from R45,75/kL to R37,50/kL


Franschhoek Area, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

HERE'S WHAT THE LEVEL 5 RESTRICTIONS MEAN FOR YOU
Level 5 restriction don’ts:
* No watering/irrigation with municipal water. Some exceptions may apply.
* No topping up (manual or automatic) of swimming pools with municipal drinking water.
* No washing of vehicles, including cars, taxis, trailers, caravans or boats with municipal drinking water.
* No washing or hosing down of hard surfaces with municipal water.
* No use of municipal drinking water for ornamental fountains or water features.
* All private swimming pools must be fitted with a cover.
* The use of any portable or temporary play pools is prohibited.
* Should borehole/wellpoint water be used for outdoor purposes, it should only be done for a maximum of one hour on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 and after 18:00.
* The operation of spray parks is prohibited.
* No new landscaping or sports fields may be established except if irrigated only with non-drinking water.


Steenbras Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

CAPE TOWN MAJOR DAM LEVELS AT 75.6%
The total level of the major dams as of 22 October 2018 is 75.6% full. It's a 0.4% decline compared to last week this time when levels were at 76%. In 2017, dam storage was at a crisis level of 38.5%.  

 


Theewaterskloof Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

WESTERN CAPE DAM LEVELS AT 66%
The combined level of the dams as of 22 October 2018 is 65.73% full compared to 66.10% the previous week. Last year this time, the average level for the province was 36.57%. The Western Cape State Dams is the total of the combined storage of the Cape Town System Dams (which today sits at 75.6%) and the four catchment areas recorded below.

DAM

% FULL THIS WEEK

% FULL LAST WEEK

% FULL 2017

CAPE TOWN SYSTEM DAMS COMBINED

75.22

75.63

38.20

BERG RIVER CATCHMENT

95.27

96.01

51.56

BREEDE RIVER CATCHMENT

61.82

62.09

34.78

GOURITZ RIVER CATCHMENT

19.77

19.73

19.09

OLIFANTS CAPE/DOORN RIVER CATCHMENT

98.35

99.16

39.36

WESTERN CAPE STATE OF DAMS

65.73

66.10

36.57

WHERE WE COME FROM
For months reports said Cape Town could be the first major city in the world to run out of drinking water, with images of dry dams being beamed all over the world.

Capetonians have taken on the challenge to save water: Not taking baths; shortening showers; not flushing with potable water, and becoming more conscious of when to wash clothes or have a tap open. Those who could buy rainwater tanks while others educated their neighbours on water-conscious usage. The hospitality industry invested in water re-usage systems and desalination plants were installed.

As things improve it's important to also read about how Capetonians pulled together, and for tourists to know that they make up only 1% of the population at peak season, and should consider Cape Town their top destination of choice.


Berg River Dam, 30 June 2018. Craig Kolesky / CapeTownMagazine.com

THE VIDEO THAT GOT EVERYONE TALKING

At the end of June, we decided to see the levels of the dams for ourselves. So we flew over three of Cape Town’s major dams. What we saw inspired our readers to share the news far and wide because the story of Capetonians pulling together needs to be shared.

The video and images of Cape Town from above were shot and edited by Red Bull photographer Craig Kolesky. The flight was courtesy of our partner Cape Town Helicopters.

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Find out the innovative ways that Capetonians have been saving water. With the rising dam levels, we’ll be celebrating water for days to come. It’s winter, so you can start by visiting these Heated Pools and hot springs or finding out more about Cape Town’s underground tunnels, a place of sweet water.

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