Following a notification by Rand Water on the 24th of August 2016, Johannesburg Water will receive a 15% reduction in the amount of water supplied to the city effective immediately. The Department of Water and Sanitation has imposed further water restrictions on Johannesburg following the Level 2 Water Use Restrictions of November 2015. The City’s main water supplier will regulate and reduce the amount of water passing through the bulk supply meters to Johannesburg Water.
More than 40% of the water in Gauteng is used for gardening purposes, which drove the Department of Water and Sanitation to limit the use of water for watering and irrigation last year. For residents this meant not watering between 6AM and 6PM and not using municipal water to fill swimming pools. These measures were implemented to ensure that the reservoirs did not run empty, which would cause water outages in certain parts of the city to build reservoir capacity back up again. The effectiveness and success of the water reduction target relied solely on the compliance of consumers and households across the city.
Water restriction tariffs were approved by the City in July of 2016 but would only come into play if necessary. With South Africa’s severe water crisis ongoing and aggravated by an extended period of low rainfall and unseasonal heat; the water levels in the Integrated Vaal River System are now below the threshold level of 60%. This has prompted the City to impose the tariffs on water consumption with immediate effect so long as the drought continues. The hope is that the increased cost would curb demand and reduce the risk of shortages in the future.
The restriction tariffs are applied incrementally in relation to how much water is used per month over-and-above the allotted 6000 litres, to reduce water usage by domestic consumers. Johannesburg Water has structured the increase in fees as follows:
10% increase on usage between 20 000 litres and 30 000 litres/month
20% increase on usage between 30 000 and 40 000 litres/month
30% increase on usage above 40 000 litres/month
The JMPD have been tasked with monitoring water usage, which could potentially result in heavy fines issued to non-compliant residents.
Gauteng is predicted to exceed its supply of water in the next 5 years if dam maintenance, construction and repair do not improve significantly and quickly. Johannesburg Water has confirmed that measures to actively save water have been put in place and are being followed, and are encouraging residents to be more water wise!