WARNING: PHASE 1 OF THE CITY’S CRITICAL WATER SHORTAGES DISASTER PLAN IS IN EFFECT. WATER RATIONING UNDER WAY
Several key summer water-saving initiatives are set to kick off soon. The City’s focus is on local and international tourism especially, alongside the existing city-wide drought interventions.
Dam storage levels are at 37,8%, with useable water at 27,8%. Consumption remains too high at 607 million litres of collective usage per day. This is 107 million litres above the crucial consumption target of 500 million litres per day.
Alongside the implementation of disaster plans, such as water rationing which is currently underway, bringing on board emergency augmentation projects, and restricting high water usage, water saving awareness is being enhanced ahead of the traditional peak usage in summer.
The city of Cape Town will shortly be launching one of its key initiatives which we are calling the ‘Save like a local’ campaign. This will be used to drive awareness about the serious drought crisis, especially among visitors, while at the same time keeping the message as light and inspirational as possible.
The city will rely heavily on the tourism sector to spread awareness. The campaign will include airport billboards in multiple international languages and branded flags in the central business district and Waterfront areas. Mobile billboards on beaches and at tourist centres will also be used to amplify the message that Cape Town is a water-scarce region which is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history.
The city asks all tourism and related businesses to consider adding contextual digital adverts to their website homepages and booking technology to drive awareness.
‘As for local tourism, all options are being explored to spread the awareness at road entry points to the Western Cape and Cape Town. We have also started reaching out to cellphone service providers to see how they can come on board to assist us to call on our visitors and locals to save water.
‘The New Normal requires us to adapt the way that we have been doing things, in all aspects of our lives. If this year’s tourist season is similar to last year’s, we can expect a bumper season and we will need all visitors to save like a local and follow the example of many of our water ambassadors. We have also had engagements with the tourism and hospitality industry, such as with the hospitality association Fedhasa.
‘Domestic users who permanently reside in Cape Town will remain the largest users. Our experience shows that the local outflow of people over the festive season and the closure of some businesses and industry, such as the construction industry, mostly balances the inflow of local and foreign tourists. We will all have to do our utmost to ensure that we spread the message of saving water and the restrictions that we must all adhere to.
‘All operations that are required during this time will be handled in a sensitive manner, balancing the requirements of this city and its people with the drought situation that we are in. It must also be borne in mind that this is a dynamic situation and the city will place further restrictions in place and lower water usage targets at short notice if required,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
An online toolkit has been developed with various resources for all to use to help us to drive this message. Please see our website www.capetown.gov.za to access material that you may require. This toolkit will be updated regularly.
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: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater and utilise our water calculator: http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT
Residents can contact the City via email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.