Ricochet News

Garden Route Dam over 87% full but water restrictions remain for now

Feb 7, 2018
Garden Route Dam over 87% full but water restrictions remain for now

The water crisis in the greater Western Cape and the need for long term water security for George will be among the factors the George Municipality Mayoral Committee must consider before a decision regarding the possible lifting of water restrictions can be made.

Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the current municipal Drought Management Policy did not specify the circumstances under which restrictions were lifted, nor did it address a crisis such as what the rest of the province was experiencing.

“The Garden Route Dam may be 87% full today (31 January 2018), but the realities of a larger crisis in neighbouring towns, the region and province cannot be ignored.”

The drought disaster declaration requirements  are applicable to the whole of the Western Cape, irrespective of dam levels of individual municipalities in the province.

“The George Municipality’s mandate is to ensure water security for its own people, which means a goal of water supply of at least a year. However, we are mindful that others may soon need our help to survive and saving water wherever we can may ultimately be about more than just supplying the current population of George.

“The municipality chooses to be proactive in its water conservation efforts with the hope that our water remains secure for our own people, but with the consciousness that the bigger picture may be outside our control. We must continue to save water and spread the word that drinking water is a very precious resource that must be treated with respect always,” said Mr Botha.

A report regarding the current water situation is expected to be tabled at the George Mayoral Committee next Thursday (8 February 2018). It is within the committee’s powers to approve and implement.

Until otherwise decided by the committee, Section 2B restrictions remain in place.


  • Handheld watering of gardens using a hose and municipal water: even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, 7pm-9pm AND uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays, 7pm-9pm. • Mechanical irrigation of gardens (sprayers) using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Watering sports fields using municipal water is prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches, daily 7pm-9pm.
  • Filling up of swimming pools using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Washing cars with a hose using municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed), except for commercial car washes.
  • Cleaning of outside surfaces using a hosepipe with municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed).
  • “OWN WATER” signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials.
  • Applications for exemption of some restrictions may be considered on merit.

Report water leaks and burst pipes to 044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.

Report contraventions of water restrictions on 0800 424 277. Fines may apply.