How Cape Towners Can Meet Their 50 litre Per Day Water Restriction

Cape Town water restriction

Money isn’t the only thing that seems to be in short supply for many people these days. Water is becoming an increasingly diminishing commodity too; especially in South Africa. According to Reuters, the water crisis and therefore water restriction is beginning to spread outwards from Cape Town to the rest of the country.

Not only is Cape Town exhausting its supply of water, but low levels of water in the dams of Lesotho are also causing concern in the industrial area surrounding Johannesburg. This is significant because to date because before now, this district has always managed to remain free of the shortages that have been imposed in other regions.

Cape Town could run out of water by April

It is reported that the tourist centre of Cape Town could run dry by April. Across South Africa as water reserves have not yet had the opportunity to recover from the drought that was triggered by El Nino two years ago. It means that there is still an impending danger of a water shortage being imposed that could affect both industrial and agricultural output.

Over in the Eastern Cape province, Nelson Mandela Bay has had to put water in restrictions in place due to the considerably lower levels of water in the dam. Restrictions could also affect production levels of should sugarcane in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province while the maize belt has also been affected by the drought.

Nationwide water shortage for South Africa

The Department of Water Affairs for South Africa as also reported that dam levels are frighteningly low in Lesotho. They are lower than they were during the worst period of the drought two years ago. As well as impacting on South Africa’s industry this will also have implications for Johannesburg and Pretoria.

While the general picture for South Africa is concerning, the most pressing problem is in Cape Town. New restrictions have been put in place recently, reducing the personal allowance from 87 litres to 50 litres. The South African government has been advising people across the nation to use water carefully and to cut personal consumption.

Check out Wonga Personal water restriction infographic

Reducing your individual water usage down to 50 litres per day is not as difficult as it might at first sound. In fact, there are some very useful water usage guides around on the Internet to help you to stay within your personal limits, like the guide on the Wonga ZA website. This guide suggests for example that you set aside:

  • 18 litres of water for doing your dishes and your laundry
  • 15 litres of water for having a 90-second shower (it’s surprising how long 90 seconds lasts)
  • 9 litres of water for a single toilet flush
  • Using various other smaller amounts as per infographic on the Wonga ZA website

With a little care, you can keep within your individual 50 litre per day allowance without affecting your personal hygiene.

If you can comply with these suggestions, not only will this help to put off “day zero” for Cape Town, but it will also help you to cut down on the cost of your water bills too.

Water criminals surface

The water crisis is already breeding a new type of criminal – water thieves. In the more prosperous parts of Cape Town, an increasing number of illegal water supply sources are appearing. One shop owner uses well over his individual allowance and is purifying it and offering it for sale to customers.

It is illegal. This shop owner has already been caught and fined twice and his business is now being forced to close by the authorities.

Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation

So how are folks planning around the water restriction? They do say, however, that necessity is the mother of invention, and the water shortage is also bringing out innovative ideas in some people. One restaurant owner has decided to opt for going 100% biodegradable in terms of crockery, cutlery and glassware. Instead of being washed up, these products can simply be thrown away.

Another of this restaurant’s innovations is to recycle melting ice. This same restaurateur is also considering offering a cold-only menu, negating the need for having to boil water.

It all goes to show that adversity can drive innovation.

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