ALERT: Western Cape water cuts a hoax but decreased water-pressure to continue, says City

2017-02-22 13:37 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - If you've noticed less water coming out of the taps in Cape Town, the City of Cape Town's water pressure reduction programme is the reason, not water cuts.

The city says it is aiming to conserve as much of the estimated 129 days of usable water as possible, after levels dipped again last week. 

Added to this, WhatsApp notifications doing the rounds that water cuts have been put in place for 29 and 30 March in the Western Cape have been slammed. 

SEE: Western Cape Water crisis: 129 days of useable water left as dams dip 1.7%

The City's spokesperson Zara Monica Nicholson says the WhatsApp notifications are simply not true, but confirming that the city would continue with its existing pressure reducing programme.

"We are currently expanding the existing pressure-reducing programme. This programme entails maintaining constant supply where we have the infrastructure to do so, but it may result in intermittent supply in the higher areas of the supply zone.  

This is an ongoing programme, says Nicholson, and the City will "consider further drastically lowering water pressure to a larger extent".

SEE: ALERT: Northern parts of SA on flood watch following heavy rains in Joburg

While South Africa's national dam levels have increased by 2.3% from 55.6% to 57.9% during last week, with the  heavy rains over the past few days in the north of the country adding up, the dam levels in the Western Cape remain a concern as certain districts experience high temperatures which carry sever fire risks. 

On Monday the City of Cape Town further issued a plea to residents in the Western Cape to cut down on water consumption as dam levels have dropped to 34,5%, a further 1,7% down from a week ago. 

And, with the last 10% of a dam’s water unable to be utilized, dam levels are now effectively at 24,5%.  At the current draw-down rate, the City warns, "we could be looking at approximately 129 days of usable water left". 

SEE: Drop Drop! The new mobile app that helps you save water

The latest actual consumption is 801 million litres of collective use per day - 101 million litres above the latest lowered water consumption target of 700 million litres per day. 

"Consumption patterns and dam levels over the coming weeks will determine how the pressure reduction programme will be rolled out further. The City will communicate timeously about any decision in this regard," says Nicholson.

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