Saturday, June 3, 2017


The current level 4 water restrictions in Cape Town, which were approved by Council on 31 May 2017 in response to the ongoing drought crisis which has resulted in critically low dam levels. The new restrictions are effective from 1 June 2017 and the new tariffs apply from 1 July 2017. 

The City is implementing emergency measures to increase the available drinking water supply. 

This includes reducing the pressure in the pipes, dredging the dams and sinking boreholes to tap into the local aquifers. However, the most critical intervention requires all residents to limit water consumption to 100 litres or less per person per day. Residents are urged to ensure they comply with level 4 water restrictions by:

•Using municipal drinking water only for essential washing, cooking and drinking purposes
•Checking and fixing all leaks on your property
•Using alternative water sources wherever possible
•Ensuring you limit your daily usage to less than 100 litres per day

 No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water allowed. This includes watering/irrigation of flower beds, lawns, vegetables, agricultural crops, other plants, sports fields, golf courses, schools, learning institutions facilities, nurseries, parks and other open spaces. (Nurseries and customers involved in agricultural activities or with historical gardens may apply for exemption. See below for
the application process.)
 City departments may only irrigate sports fields, parks, etc. using non-drinking water and upon agreement of days and times with Water and Sanitation department.
 Facilities/customers making use of boreholes water, treated effluent water, spring water or wellpoints are encouraged not to water/irrigate within seven days after rainfall that provided adequate saturation.
 All boreholes and wellpoints must be registered with the City and must display the official City of Cape Town signage clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. For information on how to register, see Register a borehole.
 You are encouraged to flush toilets (manually using a bucket) with greywater, rainwater or other non-drinking water.
 Borehole/wellpoint water must be used efficiently to avoid wastage and evaporation. Borehole/wellpoint water users are strongly encouraged to irrigate only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour.
 All properties where alternative, non-drinking water resources are used (including rain water harvesting, grey water re-use, treated effluent water and spring water) must display signage to this effect clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. Visit for further information.
 No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal drinking water allowed. (Users, such as abattoirs, food processing industries, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs may apply for exemption. See below for the application process.)
 The use of municipal drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is prohibited.

 No washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans or boats using municipal drinking water is allowed. These must be washed with nondrinking water or waterless products.
 Customers are strongly encouraged to install water efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components.
 No topping up (manually or automatically) of swimming pools allowed, even if fitted with pool cover. This includes the filling of new pools or the refilling of an existing pool after a repair.
 The use of portable or any temporary play pools is prohibited.
 No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies.
 Use of municipal drinking water, at 100 litres per person per day is strongly encouraged.
 No washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans or boats with municipal drinking water allowed except where an exemption has been granted. This applies to both formal and informal car washes. Vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats should be washed with nondrinking
water or waterless products. Exemption on application may be granted if water recycling is used in the washing process.
(See below for the application process.)
 The use of fitted pool covers for public swimming pools is strongly encouraged where practically possible.
 No automatic top-up systems for swimming pools are allowed.
 The operation of spray parks is prohibited.
 Customers/facilities must install water efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components in public places and adhere to all Water By-law requirements.
 Golf courses, sports facilities, parks, schools and learning institutions are not allowed to establish any new landscaping or sports fields, except if irrigated only with non-drinking water.
 For users supplied with water in terms of special contracts (notarial deeds, water service intermediaries or water service providers), the contract conditions shall apply.

Other restrictive measures, not detailed above, still apply as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the Water By-law, 2010, available on our website: Know your water regulations. Visit our website to find out how to apply for exemption from water restrictions. 

All exemptions granted under Level 2 or Level 3 restrictions are withdrawn with immediate effect and re-application will not be considered unless otherwise stated above.

Please note that water pressure may be reduced to below applicable regulations or standards requirements to limit water leaks and may cause intermittent water supply. For further information visit or contact us at