Millions of litres still wasted

The City is clamping down on stubborn excessive users as the drought intensifies.

Water usage has not declined in the commercial sector, the City has said, as it prepares to bring out its big guns against “stubborn excessive users.”

“These water users who have failed to change their behaviour are the ones keeping us above 600 million litres of usage per day and firmly above our essential target of 500 million litres per day. As they are not heeding our calls, we will continue to roll out interventions to force them to lower their consumption,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, Xanthea Limberg.

These interventions include installing water management devices that only allocate a certain amount of water a day. The City said they had so to date installed more than 50 devices at homes where residents could not “justify excessive usage”.

“The commercial sector, where water usage has not declined, must bring consumption down by 20% year-on-year immediately or face penalties as per the same month of the previous year. We are also looking at fining domestic users who are constantly using more than 20 000 litres per month. Households who are, on average, between four and seven people who use 87 litres per person per day will not be affected by potential usage fines as they should be using well below 20 000 litres per month if they are sticking to the 87 litres.

“But larger households, for instance of eight and more, will have to apply to the City via an affidavit to request an increase in water allocation. All allocations, across the board, are based on 87 litres per person per day,” Ms Limberg said.

The City advised residents to reduce water flow on their property by adjusting their private stopcocks or water control taps.

How to adjust a stopcock to reduce water flow (this should ideally be done during the day):

Close the stopcock by turning it in a clockwise direction, and open it again (about a half turn)

Go to the tap furthest away from the stopcock (this could be inside the house, in the back garden/yard or in an upstairs bathroom)

Open the cold water tap and see if there is sufficient water flowing If required, adjust the stopcock a half turn at a time until a reasonable but reduced flow rate of water to the furthest cold water tap is achieved

For more tips on how to meet the 87-litre a day usage restrictions, visit and use the water calculator:

Residents can contact the City by email at for queries about the water pressure reduction, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.

They can also now report water faults by sending a message via WhatsApp to 063 407 3699.

Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.