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Council Amends Water Restrictions as the Raubenheimer Dam Level Rises to 78%

Oudtshoorn, 28 October 2020 – The Oudtshoorn Municipal Council has today, 28 October in a special council meeting, unanimously agreed to amend level 4 severe restrictions to level 4b restrictions following the rise of the Raubenheimer dam to 78%.

In 2018 during the height of the drought, level 4 ( severe water restrictions were imposed. This resulted in the average water consumption being reduced from 17 000 m³ per day to ±11 000 m³ per day resulting in the dam level averaging around 40% to 45% for the last two years.

“Following recent rain and snow, the dam level is currently at 78%. The Oudtshoorn Municipal area is, however nearing the hot summer months and the short to long term predictions are that the drought is not over and that water conservation should remain paramount,” said the acting director for technical services, Mr. Chris Swart.

“The rainfall for the last four years was also way below the average and is it not advisable to lift water restrictions until the rainfall pattern normalizes. It is however felt that certain concessions be made to alleviate the burden on the Oudtshoorn community.”

It is therefore, proposed the current level 4 restrictions be amended and that level 4B be implemented as follows: 

  • No washing of cars by means of a hose pipe using municipal drinking water. Only a bucket may be used;
  • No cleaning of paved / concrete / tarred surfaces and structures with municipal drinking water by means of a hose pipe;
  • Where municipal drinking water is to be used for any construction or building purposes (including cleaning of roofs by high pressure/ low volume cleaner), permission must be obtained from the Technical Department. All applications for such a permit must be accompanied by a detailed method statement indicating how much water will be used and what measures will be put in place to conserve water.
  • Irrigation of gardens with municipal drinking water only allowed between 06:00 and 08:00 and between 18:00 and 20:00 on alternative days. A handheld hosepipe or sprinkler system may be used.
  • Plant Nurseries and Motor Wash businesses are exempted from the above restrictions, but are also subjected to the emergency water tariffs; Commercial car washes may use municipal drinking water subject to industry best practice water conservation norms and the recycling of at least 50% of water used.
  • Topping up or filling of private swimming pools with municipal drinking water is allowed subject to (1) the pool being covered with a non-permeable solid pool cover when not in use to reduce evaporation, and (2) the recovery of backwash water and the use of rainwater for pool topping up where practically possible.
  • Fountains and water features remains shut down;
  • Irrigation by water other than the drinking water be clearly indicated at the front of properties where such irrigation take place, e.g. “BOREHOLE WATER”;
  • Households are requested not to consume more than 12kl/month;
  • Irrigation of any sports fields as well as the watering of agricultural land, paddocks, parks and open spaces with municipal drinking water is completely prohibited. Applications for the watering of sports fields for special events may be submitted for approval to the Mayoral Committee via the Technical Department who will evaluate each application on merit.
  • Should the level of the Raubenheimer dam drop below 60%, the restrictions will revert back to level 4 (severe) automatically.

Transgressions of above restrictions can be fined with a spot-fine of R1 000