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South Africa to ease water restrictions

South Africa is set to ease water restriction in Cape Town from Level 6B to Level 5 as from October 1 following an increase in water levels in the country’s dams.

The City together with the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) started to discuss the relaxation of restrictions once the dam capacity exceeded 50% at the end of July 2018.

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Also Read: South Africa’s Kouga dam water levels drops

Storage capacity

According to Cape Town Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson the dams are nearing 70% of storage capacity which is a significant improvement from the 38% capacity recorded in the previous winter.

“Cape Town avoided the worst-case scenario when they reduced water usage by adopting the advanced pressure and water management programs set by the city. The enormously positive response from the residents saved the city,” asserted Neilson.

Mr. Neilson further added that the new water restrictions were to be implemented on September but this could not be done because they were awaiting response from the DWS.

Level 5  and 6 restrictions

Level 5 restrictions mean that: the personal water use limit has increased to 70 liters from the initial 50 liters, the overall city water usage has moved to 500 million liters per day from the initial 450 liters per day, and also a relaxation of restrictions for commercial and industrial water users from a 45% to a 40% usage.

The Executive Director of Informal Settlements, Water and Sanitation Gisela Kaiser said that the ideal situation is to stay at 500 million liters, which is still the target under Level 5. “At Level 6B, our overall target was 450 million liters a day. We are now at around 500 million liters a day” he added. The Level 6B water restrictions in February 2018 was a result of very low supply storage.

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