While the City of Cape Town is ramping up its water saving efforts there are still households using excessive amounts of water and according to Mayor Patricia de Lille this stubborn behaviour is pushing the city closer to day zero.
The City on Sunday installed water management devices at three properties whose water usage over the past six months ranged between 19 000 and 48 000 litres per month. “This means that, on average, the daily consumption of these households often exceeded 1 000 litres per day,” De Lille noted.
Residents resisting installations
According to the mayor, council granted City staff permission to install water management devices on premises where the water usage was unjustifiably excessive with respect to the restriction level in July, but despite this many high water users have prevented City staff and contractors from accessing their properties to install these meters.
“The City’s teams have visited these properties twice already,” De Lille explained. “This is a waste of City resources and residents have no standing to prevent the City from accessing its infrastructure. The residents at these three properties also have no outstanding queries on their water accounts and have not requested a quota increase from the City,” she continued.
18 000 water management devices installed
Since July, the City sent warning letters to approximately 50 000 households using excessive amounts of water and only a fraction of households have written to the City to request a quota extension and require more than the allocation of 350 litres per day.
Thus far the city has installed water management devices at 18 597 high consumption households across the city.
“We should be saving more water to meet the target of 500 million litres per day to move Day Zero further away. Day Zero comes when we reach 13.5% dam level capacity and the City will close almost all taps and residents will have to queue for water from around 200 collection sites,” De Lille explained.
“It is unfair on all of Cape Town if only some of us are saving. The only way through this drought is together,” she concluded.