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Drought crisis: enforcement stepped up amid continuing high usage

Since the end of October 2016, the City’s Water Inspectorate and other law enforcement agencies have handled approximately 33 000 enquiries, contraventions, notices and revocations of special exemptions, while the first installations of water management devices on high-user properties are expected this week. 

Dam storage levels are at 27,9%. This means useable water is at 17,9%. Water usage is 642 million litres per day – 142 million litres above our target of 500 million litres of collective water use per day. All residents must immediately reduce consumption further and report contraventions to the City. Consumption remains far too high. It is clear that water users are still taking chances with Cape Town’s collective future.

Properties with unjustifiably high water use are currently being visited by the City’s Water Inspectorate. Failure to justify high use is resulting in the restriction of water supply. The first examples of the installation of water management devices for unjustifiably high use will be done this week. Previously, these devices were only installed to assist with debt management and not high usage as per Level 4b restrictions.

‘If there is a knock on your door, don’t be surprised when it is our Water Inspectorate and law enforcement agencies coming to inspect your water use. Our stubborn high users have received warning notices. We will be forcibly reducing the water use of those who cannot justify their high water usage. We will see our first cases this week.‘Many of our water users continue to inspire us with their efforts and we thank them for understanding that this is our New Normal. Our rainfall thus far in July has been minimal – at most recorded points at least half to one-third less than our long-term July average. If we do not save now, we will run out of water,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

For information on how to adhere to the less than 87-litre total usage requirement per day, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: and utilise our new water calculator:

Residents can contact the City via email to for queries or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.

Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with the most rigorous safety standards.

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