Ricochet News

Garden Route dam rises to above 60%, but 2C restrictions remain in place

Oct 25, 2017
Garden Route dam rises to above 60%, but 2C restrictions remain in place

Section 2C water restrictions and emergency tariffs will remain in place in George for the immediate future regardless of the rise of the Garden Route Dam to above 60% following good rains in recent weeks.

The official dam reading, taken by the George Municipality this morning, is 60.77%.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, said the municipality recorded 248.5mm rain since the dam dropped to its lowest at 42.02% on 16 August 2017.

“While this is very good news, water security remains of paramount importance ahead of summer and the upcoming holiday season and water restrictions will be here for some time to come. We appeal to all people who live, work and play in our city and region to continue saving water in all possible ways.”

The George Municipality Drought Management Plan stipulates Section 2C requirements (which limits households to 15 kilolitres per month before emergency tariffs are charged) stay in place for at least two months from the time the Garden Route Dam rises to above 45%, which was confirmed on 18 September 2017 – provided the conditions consistently remain above the Section 2C requirements and the town’s immediate water security remains satisfactory. The two-month period ends on 18 November 2017, which coincides with the summer holiday period, which will be one of the factors considered before a decision is made regarding restriction measures.

“Even if the Section 2C tariffs are lifted, Section 2B restrictions will be applicable for at least two months thereafter. Long-term weather predictions for the Western Cape indicate a long, hot summer ahead of us – so, everything we save now, is an investment in our city’s water security. In fact, we ask all citizens to make water-saving a permanent lifestyle – our town is growing and water supply will be impacted no matter how many measures we put in place. If we all want to keep living here, we must all work towards sustainable water security.”

Botha said locals were still using too much water, with a current average demand of 28.7 megalitres per day.

“For long-term sustainability, consumption should be at least 22 megalitres per day, based on the current water situation." 

The implications of the current SECTION 2C restrictions include:

  • Households shall be limited to 15 kilolitres per month (flow reducing devices will be installed where limits are exceeded). Emergency tariffs will apply if users exceed the 15 kilolitre limit.
  • Other users, businesses and entertainment industries must reduce consumption by 15% of their average use over the previous six months. This includes commercial car washes and other businesses dependent on municipal water. Emergency tariffs apply as well as the possibility of a fine if overall consumption is not reduced by 15%.
  • Large industries must reduce consumption by 10% of their average use over the previous six months. Emergency tariffs apply as well as the possibility of a fine if overall consumption is not reduced by 10%.
  • Gardens may only be watered using watering cans or buckets, any time of the day.
  • The irrigation/watering of ALL sportsfields using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Washing of vehicles with a garden hose with municipal water is prohibited. Buckets are allowed.
  • Cleaning of any outside surface area using a water hose with municipal water is prohibited.
  • Filling up of swimming pools with municipal water is prohibited.
  • Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used ‘OWN WATER’ signage must be displayed, and officials may ask for proof of own water.
  • 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.

SECTION 2B measures include:

  • handheld watering of gardens with a hose only 7pm-9pm (even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays)
  • “OWN WATER” signage where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials.

During Section 2B MUNICIPAL water may NOT be used for:

  • mechanical irrigation of gardens (sprayers)
  • watering sports fields, exemption for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches daily 7pm-9pm
  • filling up swimming pools
  • washing the car with a hose (buckets allowed), exemption for commercial car washes
  • cleaning of outside surfaces with a hosepipe (buckets allowed)

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 0800 424 277. Repeat offenders can expect to pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.