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While the extraction of groundwater remains free, responsible water habits should still apply as this is not an unlimited resource. Read more below:

Due to the current severe drought that is being experienced across the country and the low dams levels, residents have been encouraged to shift to using alternative water sources.

The restrictions on the use of potable water have motivated many residents to install either boreholes or well-points in order to tap into Cape Town’s groundwater resources to supplement their potable supply, as well as to save money.

The City of Cape Town would, however, like to encourage residents to please use groundwater sparingly as this is not an unlimited resource. If too much groundwater is extracted too quickly, it may become depleted.

‘The uptake of boreholes and well-points is very useful in taking pressure off our dams at a time when they are reaching dangerously low levels, however it is important that we utilise it responsibly. For this reason, the City is recommending that customers with boreholes restrict their watering to the hours prescribed in the restrictions, or at the very least limit their watering to the early mornings and late evenings to avoid evaporation,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Although the National Government is the custodian of water resources and is responsible for regulating and controlling/restricting use directly from the resource, the City will be lobbying them to more tightly regulate this resource as more and more residents elect to explore groundwater extraction for domestic use.Residents who wish to use groundwater are advised that they will need to apply to sink a new borehole or well-point at least 14 days before it is installed. Information on how to apply can be found here:

Residents are also reminded that, once installed, boreholes will need to be registered. Information on how to register can be found here:

‘Application for and registration of boreholes helps us gather information for environmental monitoring and research purposes and is not in place so that residents can be charged. Water use from boreholes and wells remains free. As a thank you, the City will send applicants and those who register their boreholes a certificate of appreciation and a free weather-proof display sign,’ said Cllr Limberg.

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