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The National Department of Water and Sanitation, who is the custodian of national water resources, has sent an instruction to all water users of the Western Cape Water Supply Scheme, such as the metro, the agricultural sector and other municipalities in the Western Cape, to reduce usage further.

Water usage must be cut immediately to 500 million litres of collective usage per day. The City of Cape Town will also increasingly intervene in an effort to force consumption down. Collective usage is at 618 million litres per day. This is 118 million litres above the necessary consumption target.

According to the new National Government restriction targets, the City, as an urban user, must reduce its usage by 40%. To date, the national restriction has been 20%, which the City met successfully.

‘A reduction of 40% would equate to about 520 million litres of collective usage per day. As can be clearly seen, the City has been ahead of the curve by already having a target in place that is even lower than the new restriction target. This has been in an effort to act conservatively, proactively and to base our modelling on a worst-case scenario.

‘We will therefore continue to push a target that is even lower than that set by the National Department. We call on the relevant national government departments to enhance their support of the City’s efforts to reduce consumption and to collaborate much more closely with the City to ensure that we get through this severe and unprecedented drought. We also call on all civic and private sector partners to mobilise their communities, friends and families, industry bodies and workplaces to help us to get consumption down to below 500 million litres, and lower if required.

‘With the harsh summer ahead, rapid decline of dam levels should be expected. This year it will also be from lower levels. We are targeting those who are not keeping to the limit of 87 litres per person per day. And for those who are, we say thank you. I challenge everyone in the metro to see how much lower they can go,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Key aspects of the City’s Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan will be made public on Wednesday 4 October 2017.

In order to get through as much of the expected harsh summer ahead, consumption must be reduced to at least 500 million litres per day.

Addressing the lack of water in our system can only be done if all water users collectively contribute to help us to mitigate this crisis. As a City, we will do whatever it takes to get through this great challenge. We will act within the confines of the law and not erratically and we will use all of our powers and responsibilities in accordance with our disaster status.

Getting through this unprecedented drought remains our priority.

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

Residents can contact the City via email to for queries about the water pressure reduction, 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.

Please note that normal supply could be disrupted in order to lower demand. This is part of the aggressive pressure reduction programmes in place which are set to be intensified.

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

Please check your water usage by registering on e-services For more information on water management devices, please visit

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