Implementation of Level 3b water restrictions – 1 FEBRUARY 2017

How to manage water restrictions at your home



Watering with potable water is  only permitted on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 maximum of one hour per day (Tuesday and Saturday) per property. Must use a bucket or watering can. NO use of hosepipes or any sprinkler system allowed. WITHIN 48 HOURS OF RAINFALL THAT PROVIDES ADEQUATE SATURATION-No watering or irrigation is allowed

NOTE : BOREHOLES, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt from this restriction

WASHING OF VEHICLES OR BOATS: No washing  of vehicles or boats using municipal drinking water. NOTE : Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or at a commercial carwash.

CITY FACILITIES: No irrigation using potable water will be permitted at City facilities

INDIGENT WATER ALLOCATION: ·No increase of the over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted


Current users with exemptions must adhere to Level 3b irrigation days and times

All exemptions granted for  Level 3 are being reviewed


The 20 000 + residential property owners using over 50 kilolitres per month will be approached by the City and warned of punitive measures if they do not reduce their usage by 20%

NOTE : The residential average usage prior to water restrictions was 30 kilolitres per month.


The City requests residents to report contraventions

( preferably with evidence) to : water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za

Other restrictions, not detailed above, still apply as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the Water Bylaw, 2010. Please visit the City of Cape Town website for more information on: Know your water regulations.

For queries on water restrictions please send an email to Water.Restrictions@capetown.gov.za

You can also stay up to date with the water levels of the main dams supplying the Cape metropolitan area.

Here’s what you can do to save water and money

At home:

  • Take shorter showers and turn off the shower while soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse.
  • Make sure you put a full load into your washing machine and dishwasher before starting a wash cycle.
  • Cut down the amount of water flushed down the toilet by placing a 2 litre plastic bottle full of water in the water tank (cistern) of your toilet. This could save you up to 7 300 litres of water each year.
  • When washing dishes by hand, do not leave the water running to rinse dishes. And if you have a double basin, fill one with soapy water and one with clean water to rinse.
  • Install a system to pump grey water (from the washing machine, basins, shower and bath) to the garden.

In the garden:

  • Plant indigenous plants which can tolerate extreme heat and require little watering.
  • Group plants with the same water needs together, so that you don’t overwater plants with varying water needs.
  • Put a covering layer around trees and plants. Covering will slow evaporation and will also discourage weeds from growing.
  • You are only allowed to water your garden once a day on designated days.
  • The best times to water your garden is at sunrise and sunset. Watering between 9am and 4pm (when the sun is brightest) is not allowed.
  • Water your lawn long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly.
  • Plant in the right season. For winter rainfall areas, you will need to plant in autumn and early winter so the plants have a chance to develop their root systems before the dry season. In summer rainfall areas, you can plant in spring and early summer.
  • A dripping tap (one drop per second) could waste up to 30 litres of water an hour, which adds up to 10 000 litres a year.

In the industrial and commercial sector:

  • Define water requirements for your organisation, building or unit of production.
  • Appoint a person to track water use and identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to rectify.
  • Ensure that people are aware of  how to report major water losses from leaking or damaged pipes and hoses.
  • Encourage staff to report dripping taps and leaking toilets.
  • Reduce the chances of leakage by turning taps off lightly and getting washers replaced when leaks are discovered.

These simple changes can help you save up to 10% on your annual water bill, without drastically changing your lifestyle.

Educate your children about simple ways to save water  around the home and encourage your colleagues to start saving water at work.


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in an effort to help citizens reduce the use of water, started the Drop-the-block campaign. This water-saving method of dropping a plastic block into the toilet cistern helps reduce the volume of water used when you flush your toilet.

Here’s what you need to know about Drop-the-block:

  • The block is made from recycled plastic to prevent erosion and blocking of the toilet.
  • The block is weighed down with sand and displaces up to 2 litres of water.
  • Toilet cisterns hold 9 to 15 litres of clean water which is dispensed with each flush.
  • After dropping the block into the cistern, a household of 4 people who go to the toilet 4 times a day, can save up to 32 litres of water per day.

If you’re interested to know more about the Drop-the-block campaign, read Drop-the-block for more information.

Want to know more?

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