Ricochet News

Welcome visitors, but please save water: George Municipality

Dec 19, 2017
Welcome visitors, but please save water: George Municipality

George Tourism is welcoming holidaymakers to the Garden Route with water saving messaging in hand this summer.

George Tourism manager Joan Shaw said local tourism officials have been handing out water awareness pamphlets, badges and goodies at the George Airport and will continue the good work on local beaches, tourist hot spots, guesthouses and car rental offices.

“We are so excited that our holidaymakers have arrived, but ask them to consider the Western Cape water crisis wherever in the province they travel. Our tourism ‘water warriors’ have been trained in general water awareness information and will be engaging with holidaymakers everywhere to highlight the importance of saving water in big and small ways.”

The George Municipality, with the support of Eden District Municipality, has recently erected billboards in York Street and Knysna Road to alert arriving travellers to the area’s water scarce status. Extensive advertising in local holiday guides, which is being distributed across the district, includes water saving tips, essential numbers, water restrictions and appeals to make major lifestyle changes to ensure that water saving become a permanent household and business approach.

George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha reiterated that while the Garden Route Dam level was currently above 70%, the municipality had a long-term approach to water security and still had water restrictions. “Water users tend to relax once they see the dam level rising and do not save as consciously. With a long, hot summer ahead, we must think ahead and save whatever we can.

“We ask especially holidaymakers who come from regions where they are currently not required to save water as meticulously, to be mindful of our desperate situation and to save water with the future of the region in mind. Please help us save water and protect our water security – not only to overcome our immediate crisis but also to ensure you have somewhere to return to for years to come.”

The current water restrictions for George are:

  • Restricted handheld watering of gardens using a hose and municipal water allowed: even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, 7pm-9pm only AND uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays, 7pm-9pm only.
  • 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.

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

Contraventions of water restrictions can be reported on 0800 424 277. Repeat offenders may pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or may be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.

Image: George Tourism water warriors (frlom left) Chanique Kapank, Jerome Manewil, Heloine America, Sherverne Williams and Melanie Martins.