Ricochet News

Garden Route Dam down to 45% - Stricter restrictions and higher tariffs on the cards

Jul 11, 2017
Garden Route Dam down to 45% - Stricter restrictions and higher tariffs on the cards

If water usage patterns do not change, residents in the George area will soon be facing even stricter water restrictions, including 15-kilolitre per household per month limitations and higher tariffs for those using more than their monthly allocations.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, said the level of the Garden Route Dam, which serviced the greater George area, had been dropping at an average 1,7% per week in the five weeks (from 60.23% on May 31 to 51.63% on July 5, a total of 8.6%) since water restrictions were announced on June 1.

The municipality initiated restrictions in terms of its Drought Management Policy when the level of the Garden Route Dam dropped to below 60% on June 1, which included measures such as designated garden watering times with handheld hoses only, as well as the prohibition of watering sports fields, pressure cleaning surface areas and filling up swimming pools with municipal water.

The latest dam level reading, which is published weekly on Wednesdays, was 51.63% on July 5.

Botha said if usage trends and little rain persisted, the dam was expected to reach 45% in less than a month, around the first week in August, at which time Section 2C restrictions of the George Drought Management Policy would come into effect. Section 2B is currently in effect.

“Since restrictions were announced, the municipality has widely advertised and raised awareness regarding water restrictions, but has so far seen minimal reduction in water usage.

"We make an urgent appeal to all water users in the George area to use water sparingly and spread the news and urgency of the matter to everyone. The city’s water security is a very serious matter, as we have already witnessed in other places around our province and country.

"We want to avoid a crisis as well as financial implications to our ratepayers, but will have no choice but to enforce Section 2C restrictions if trends persist and the dam level drops to below 45%,” said Botha.

In addition to existing water restrictions, the implications of Section 2C restrictions (when the Garden Route Dam level drops to below 45%) include:

  • Households shall be limited to 15 kilolitres per day (flow reducing devices will be installed where limits are exceeded).
  • Other users, businesses and entertainment industries must reduce consumption by 15% of their average use over the previous six months.
  • Large industries must reduce consumption by 10% of their average use over the previous six months.
  • Gardens may only be watered using water cans or buckets, any time of the day.
  • Emergency tariffs will be implemented immediately and will have the following implications for households (see next page):




0-6 kilolitres



6-12 kilolitres

R13,74 per kilolitre

R13,74 per kilolitre

12-20 kilolitres

R15,82 per kilolitre

R17,86 per kilolitre

20-30 kilolitres

R18,96 per kilolitre

R27,69 per kilolitre

30-50 kilolitres

R22,71 per kilolitre

R48,44 per kilolitre

50 kilolitres or more

R25,96 per kilolitre

R96,88 per kilolitre




  • Emergency tariffs for other users (such as schools, old age homes etc) shall be 1.5 times more as per their specific published tariff as per the annual municipal tariffs list.

The CURRENT Section 2B water restrictions mean the following measures are immediately in place:

  1. Mechanical irrigation of gardens is prohibited.
  2. Gardens may only be watered using handheld hoses between 7pm and 9pm on specific days.

Even-numbered households may only water on Mondays and Thursdays 7pm-9pm.

Uneven-numbered households may only water on Tuesdays and Fridays 7pm-9pm.

  1. The irrigation/watering of all sportsfields is prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches, daily between 7pm and 9pm.
  2. Washing of vehicles with a garden hose, except by a commercial carwash, is prohibited.
  3. Cleaning of any outside surfaces area using a water hose with municipal water is prohibited.
  4. Filling up of swimming pools with municipal water is prohibited.
  5. Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used ‘OWN WATER’ signage must be displayed.

Please report water leaks, burst pipes and other water-related concerns to our Civil Engineering Department, at  044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.

Contraventions of water restrictions can be reported on 044 801 6350. Repeat offenders can expect to pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or land up in jail for up to six months if found guilty.

Image: George Municipality water purification superintendent Melvin Koopman checks the water level of the Garden Route Dam on July 5 ahead of the weekly update. The physical measurement is fed into a scientific table to determine the dam level percentage.