Following good seasonal rainfalls, the Department of Water and Sanitation has decided to relax water restrictions from for urban and agricultural use in the Western Cape.

According to Rashid Khan the Department’s Regional Head of the Western Cape, water availability at is currently much healthier than a year or two ago which is why national government has decided to relax water restrictions by 45% to 10% for domestic use and 60% to 10% for agricultural use.

Khan notes that the decision to relax water restrictions is based on the hydrological data that was recently updated by the department through a scientific model.

“The model shows that reducing water restrictions will bring the system into balance and it will then be operated to ensure security of supply to both urban and agricultural users,” he explains.

Ensuring uninterrupted water supply

Khan says the reduction of restrictions is residual and is also aligned to climate change impacts.

“It must be noted that these restrictions apply to bulk water. The department, together with other water specialists, will monitor the situation and engage users through scheduled drought forums, as well as take appropriate steps to ensure uninterrupted water supply,” Khan said.

Water restrictions

Prior to the rainfall in the recent rainy season in the province, the water supply systems in the Western Cape were severely constrained as a result of lower than normal rainfall over the previous three years.

In a bid to curb excessive use and stretch water security, the department imposed water restrictions of 45% on domestic use, and 60% on agricultural use.