Yep. “Just” 11 months after putting the Level 2 water restrictions in place, and with a disappointingly dry winter behind us, the City’s Mayco has approved the implementation of Level 3 restrictions from 1st November 2016. That’s because you and I haven’t saved enough water this year.
Victim-blaming hat on:
Cape Town residents as a whole did not achieve the consistent 10% reduction in water use that was mandated from 1 January 2016. If we continue to use water as we did on Level 2 restrictions over the coming summer months, the dams are at risk of falling to 15% by the end of the summer period. Following on, if we experience poor rainfall next rainy season, we could find our dams at approximately 50% this time next year.
The dam levels have slipped slightly again this week – their second successive weekly fall, and although it’s not by much, it’s still not by much the wrong way. Unless something dramatic happens, our “high” at the end of winter will have been a worrying 62.5%.
Chez 6000, we’ve already been washing with a bucket on the shower floor to collect the “spare” grey water, which then goes on the garden each morning. But apparently it’s simply not been enough.
“SO MANY BUCKETS THOUGH!!!!” he wailed.
In basic terms, what these means is that the more water you use, the more you will pay – at higher tariffs too, but if you can reduce your usage by 20%, you should pay no more than you are already paying (but for less water, obviously).
Oh – and there are some other really important additional new rules too:
– Watering/irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only if using a bucket or watering container. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed.
– Cars and boats may only be washed with water from buckets.
– Manual topping up of swimming pools is allowed only if pools are fitted with a pool cover. No automatic top-up systems are allowed.
– No portable play pools are permitted to be used.
What remains to be seen is whether any of this will be policed or whether the city will simply rely on those higher bills to deter excessive water usage. Since that approach evidently didn’t work on the Level 2 restrictions, I wonder if they will actually be doing something about people not obeying the rules this summer?