The City of Cape Town has activated water rationing to forcibly lower water usage in line with water restrictions across the metro as phase 1 of its critical water shortages disaster plan.
Water usage remains dangerously high above required levels.
Rationing will lead to intermittent supply, likely during peak water consumption hours in the mornings and evenings. It won’t result in a complete shutdown, but some areas may experience short water outages. Service will be restored as quickly as possible.
Please note the following key points:
• Please keep up to 5 litres of water available for essential use only during rationing.
• Please do not store excessive municipal water.
• Definitive timetables of the outages cannot be provided as water systems must be managed flexibly to avoid damage to critical infrastructure.
• When you experience a loss of water supply and before you contact the call centre, please check your neighbour’s supply first to see whether it is likely a case of rationing.
• If you reside in or operate from multi-storey buildings, ensure that the water supply system (booster pumps and roof-top storage) is in working order in compliance with the Water By-law.
• The City is not liable for any impact on or damage to private infrastructure resulting from the rationing or associated operations.
• Please ensure that all taps are closed when not in use to prevent damage/flooding when the supply is restored. Ensure that you take the necessary steps, such as speaking to your insurer if possible, to mitigate potential damage and for fire prevention.
• When supply is restored, the water may appear to be cloudy from the extreme pressure reduction exercise. Please do not waste the initial water. Use it for flushing.
Water management devices are also being installed city-wide to limit excessive consumption.
Further restriction levels and usage targets will be announced at short notice and as necessary to drive down consumption to a safe level. Critical services such as clinics and hospitals will be largely unaffected. This phase is intended to help us avoid more extreme phases of the disaster plan.
Phases of the critical water shortages disaster plan
Phase 1: Activated: water rationing through extreme pressure reduction and limiting supply
Phase 2: Disaster restrictions (water collection points)
Phase 3: Full-scale disaster implementation (extreme rationing at distribution points)
Cape Town is situated in a water-scarce region. Climatic unpredictability, such as this protracted drought, must be seen as the New Normal which affects all aspects of our lives. In Cape Town, the Western Cape, and many other parts of South Africa, this severe drought continues.
Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for all further information required, including information on the Water By-law. We will only get through this together.