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New Johannesburg Water Restrictions Enforced

October 10, 2016

South Africa is currently experiencing the worst drought that it has seen in decades. The ground is parched and the plants are shriveling, that is unless you have a grey water recycling system or a bore hole.  In early September 2016, under instruction from the Department of Water and Sanitation, Johannesburg water restrictions were implemented to cut back on the amount of water used in the city by 15%.

Water restrictions in Johannesburg are nothing new.  The city has been under a level 2 water restriction since November 2015.  This was created in an effort to conserve the amount of water used within the city. The water shortages in the city have had an effect on the various industries as well as on the residents.

But why these new, tighter restrictions?

Johannesburg depends on the Integrated Vaal River System to provide water to the immense population as well as its booming industries. But the intense, unyielding drought has caused heavy damage to the city’s supplies and now the system has fallen below 60% while the Vaal Dam is now at the critical level of 35%.

On the 24th of August, Rand Water informed Johannesburg Water that the supply to the city would be reduced as of the 6th of September 2016.

Water solutions need to be on every South African’s agenda, not just on the minds of those living in Johannesburg. All over the country measures are being taken to combat the effects of the persisting drought.

It is partly the result of the unseasonal heat this Spring which has forced the Department to introduce extra measures to save water by implementing item 6 (1) of Schedule 3 to the National Water Act. This section implements the limited usage of the Integrated Vaal River System. The limit will mean that urban water use will be cut by 15% while water used for irrigation will be cut by 20%. The limit was implemented immediately and remains in effect.

The bulk water system will be carefully managed as the cuts continue. This latest round of water restrictions will be implemented alongside the existing water restrictions.

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Watering gardens using automated sprinkling systems could result in a hefty fine while the newest water restrictions are in effect.
Watering gardens using automated sprinkling systems could result in a hefty fine while the newest water restrictions are in effect.

Not sure what the previous restrictions entailed? Here is what you need to know:

Prior to the 15% cut, Johannesburg was placed under a Level 2 restriction which means:

  • Gardens may not be watered/irrigated between 6h00am and 18h00pm;
  • No irrigation systems may be used during these hours. Only buckets, hand held hose pipes and water cans may be used to water the garden;
  • No swimming pool may be filled used municipal water; and
  • Cars and paved areas may not be washed using hose pipes.

In Gauteng, over 40% of all water use goes to watering gardens so the new water solutions implemented by the Department will easily save plenty of water should everyone comply. It is good to mention that the police have been asked to help the department in their effort to enforce these new water restrictions.

Change in the water tariffs

Along with the water restrictions, comes an expected change in the tariffs. Taken from a press release from the City of Johannesburg’s website, these are the changes that you can expect:

LEVEL 2 WATER RESTRICTION TARIFFS TO DOMESTIC CUSTOMERS

(Kilolitres per connection per month Normal Tariff. Note that 1 kilolitre = 1000 litres.)

% Increase R’ Increase (R/kl)

  • 0-6: Free 0% R 0.00 Free
  • 6-10: R 7.14 0% R 0.00 R 7.14
  • 10-15: R 12.07 0% R 0.00 R 12.07
  • 15-20: R 17.65 0% R 0.00 R 17.65
  • 20-30: R 24.03 10% R 2.40 R 26.43
  • 30-40: R 25.81 20% R 5.16 R 30.97
  • 40: R 32.27 30% R 9.68 R 41.95

To enforce these new water restrictions, those who do not comply might be facing hefty fines of up to R 1 500. This means that if the police pass your home or business and see the gardens being watered unlawfully, they have the right to give you a fine which will be added onto your water bill. But the water restrictions are not the only solution, as the city is doing other things to save water. For instance, they have a leak detection system in place and they have undertaken to control the flow of water in order to save.

How can you save even more by using water solutions?

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Water tanks are a great way to save during times of drought
Water tanks are a great way to save during times of drought

It certainly won’t hurt your pocket or the water situation if you were to start saving your own way. There are numerous things that you can do to start saving, whether it is something as small as making sure that you have dealt with any water leaks or something as big as setting up a grey water recycling system.

Grey water recycling systems, along with rainwater tanks, backup tanks, and water timers and bore holes, are all fantastic ways to save water. As mentioned before, watering gardens is often responsible for the most water use in Johannesburg so if you are able to collect grey water or rain water, or if you are able to draw your own water through a bore hole, you will be helping the water situation currently affecting Johannesburg.  Grey water recycling systems are growing in popularity and now is a fantastic time to think about installing one of your own.

What is grey water and how is it used?

Grey water usually consists of water used to wash dishes or to clean laundry. It is safe to use when watering the garden, for washing cars or for cleaning. The grey water can be treated beforehand.

This recycled water is also known as gently used water as it has not come into contact with anything that could dangerously contaminate it. When water restrictions are put in place, grey water can become an efficient way to save water while keeping the vegetation, including food producing plants, well watered. You can invest in a quality grey water recycling system that is easy to install and that will have you benefitting instantly.

Saving water is not just for Johannesburg residents, or even Gauteng residents, rather water solutions can be used all over South Africa. You need to practice water efficiency when you are looking to save. And now is as good a time as any for water recycling and other water solutions to become a priority.

Make the right investment by installing a water management system to help ease the drought by keeping you in line with the current water restrictions. Contact Green Leaf Alternative Solutions to find out more about which systems are the most effective for saving water.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


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