What the water restriction levels mean
With water reserves running low, the City of Johannesburg issued a warning through its social media. An official status released on the 9th of November, to residents and other water consumers in the municipality said:
“The City of Johannesburg has been notified by Rand Water of further deterioration in bulk water supply, recommending a higher level of water supply restriction.”
Rand Water supplies water to Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni municipalities. It confirmed on the 14th of November that supply wasn’t so much a problem as it is in other provinces. The problem lies in the demand and the amount of time it takes for water reservoirs to recover after high demand on the system.
The “higher level of water supply restriction” mentioned in the announcement means City of Johannesburg, and the other municipalities supplied by Rand Water, would begin implementing Level Two restrictions. But what exactly do the water restriction levels mean?
The City of Johannesburg water supply bylaw states that, “Whenever there is a scarcity of water available for distribution and supply to consumers, the Council may prohibit or restrict the use of water under its control or management, as contemplated in section 83A of the Local Government Ordinance, No. 17 of 1939”
Section 44 of Johannesburg’s water supply bylaw. Read more here
Level one of water supply restrictions is merely a courtesy call from municipalities who could sense trouble brewing. During this stage, residents and other consumers are urged to use water sparingly.
Level two, however is more specific and serious. It’s still a plea for water users to be mindful but one that carries specific prohibitions. During level two restrictions, water users are prohibited from doing the following:
– Watering gardens between 06:00 and 18:00.
– Filling of swimming pools.
– Using of hosepipes to wash cars or clean pavements
The restrictions are a call of law and ignoring them would be breaking the law. Ekurhuleni municipality have fines as high as R12, 000.00 in place for users who do not adhere to level two restrictions.
Level one and level two restrictions are both preventative measures that are put in place to ease pressure on the water supply system. Complying with those levels means reservoirs are given time to recovery and there isn’t too much pressure placed on them.
Should the first two levels of restrictions fail, the situation get worse, level three restrictions will have to be implemented. Level three is different from the first two levels in that water would only be supplied during specific times. The onus would be on residents and other users to store water for use when it’s not available.
Level three restrictions have been likened to load-shedding – a situation Gauteng residents have gotten familiar with over the past seven years with the electricity problems the province and country have faced.
Report residents and organisations that are not adhering to the restrictions by phoning 011 688 1699. Follow @JHBWater on twitter to stay updated about the latest developments.