City of Cape Town wants users to turn their taps down low

cape town water users

A stopcock, desalination or groundwater extraction plant, is coming to a suburb or household near you, according to the City of Cape Town.

While dams in the Western Cape have seen gains of 1.4% over the previous week, water consumption remains 129-million litres per day beyond the City of Cape Town’s target of 500-million (pdf).

This week’s dam highlights:

  • Overall dam storage now stands at 32.4%
  • That’s 25% lower than last year, over 70% lower than 2013
  • Berg River Dam is now 51.8% full
  • Theewaterskloof Dam still below 30% full

cape town dam levels august 21

The City remains adamant on cracking down on the city’s high water users, with one solution being the installation of stopcocks.

Stopcocks serve as bottlenecks to water delivery, allowing users to throttle water pressure to their homes.

City turns to desalination, other technologies

Beyond stopcocks, the City has also announced that tenders for its planned desalination plants have been issued.

The water management devices, specifically for excessive users, are the latest in a myriad drought interventions, together with large-scale pressure reduction and enormous enforcement efforts. The City’s emergency supply scheme interventions are also under way,” explained the City’s water services councillor Xanthea Limberg.

“The City has commenced procuring and commissioning, in a staged way, various augmentation schemes with the intention of making available up to 500 Ml/day of non-surface water,” Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced last week.

The City of Cape Town notes that water usage across the metropole remains well beyond its target

Plants and containers will be located in Koeberg, Silverstroom, Woodbridge Island, Granger Bay, Hout Bay, Red Hill, Strandfontein, Monwabisi and Harmony Park, with a barge also planned for the Cape Town Harbour.

Groundwater extraction — from the Table Mountain Aquifer, Cape Flats and Oranjezicht Spring — and water reuse, is also in the pipeline.

Combined, the City hopes to produce around 500-million litres per day from the above measures.

For now, residents in Durbanville, Southfield, Oakdale, Rondebosch, Crawford, Three Anchor Bay and Parklands are next in the stopcock installation rollout.

For those who have one installed on their premises, the City of Cape Town recommends users adjust their pressure manually.

  • Close the stopcock by turning it in a clockwise direction, and open it again (about a half turn)
  • Go to the tap furthest away from the stopcock (this could be inside the house, in the back garden/yard or in an upstairs bathroom)
  • Open the cold water tap and see if there is sufficient water flowing
  • If required, adjust the stopcock a half turn at a time until a reasonable but reduced flow rate of water to the furthest cold water tap is achieved
Andy Walker
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