Conserve water, summer approaching – Cape leader warns

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Conserve water, summer fires approaching - Cape leader warns
[IMAGE/COURTESY]

SOUTH AFRICA: Western Cape Member of Executive Council (MEC) Anton Bredel has urged residents to conserve water as the province approaches summer season, characterized with wildfires.

MEC Anton Bredell asked the public to support local government in driving awareness around the risk for wildfires in coming months.

While acknowledging that the Cape region has been better off in 2020 than the previous years, Bredell urged residents to conserve and optimize the scarce resources available.

“Let us not ease up on our efforts. Optimization of our scarce resources remains critical in a province and a country that is largely semi-arid,” he said.

South Africa’s summer lasts from about December to March before winter takes over from June to August. These are two fire seasons that are defined by the rainfall patterns, the dry summer months in the Western Cape, and the dry winter months in the rest of the country.

While the average level for dams in the Western Cape continues to remain above 80%, the increased risk of wildfires in the months ahead has been flagged by the local government.

READ: Cape Town’s Day Zero water resilience celebrated

Councillor Xanthea Limberg of City Council and member of the Mayoral Committee (Mayco) overseeing Informal Settlements, Water & Waste Services and Energy has warned residents against water wastage even as water restrictions are set to be lifted from November 1.

“A number of permanent regulations as outlined in the water by-laws still apply, such as watering is only allowed before 9am after 6pm. This applies to watering with drinking water or borehole or well point water,” she said.

She called upon commercial car wash industries to conserve water by complying with industry best practice norms regarding water usage per car washed, and demanded that all swimming pools be covered by a pool cover when not in use.

“Boreholes and well point water must be used sparingly and efficiently,” she urged while stressing that the maximum flow rate of any shower head must not exceed seven litres per minute and new or replaced toilet cisterns may not exceed six litres in capacity.

South Africa is recovering from a severe three years drought season – the worst in a century, that almost saw Cape region hit day zero.