Water Restrictions

Latest news on water restrictions in Gauteng

*City only partially lifts water restrictions in effort to promote a culture of water conservation*

14 March 2017

City of Johannesburg Press Statement by Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services Department

The City of Joburg welcomes the decision by the Department of Water and sanitation to lift water supply restrictions in Gauteng municipalities. As per the Government Gazette Notice No. 910 of 13 March 2017, the Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation withdrew the water restrictions within the Integrated Vaal River System.

However, South Africa remains a water scarce country and the City of Joburg remains a net importer of water. We urge all water users to maintain vigilance in conserving this scarce resource.

The risk of demand outstripping supply in the intervening period between now and the commissioning of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Project (2025) remains a real threat. According to the 2009 Phase II feasibility report, the full yield is expected to be utilised by approximately 2030.

Therefore the City will, in an effort to maintain a culture of water conservation, only partially lift Level-2 water restrictions according to section 44 (3) of the Water Services By-law:

  • On an annual basis, between 06:00 – 18:00 during 1 September and 31 March; and between 08:00 – 16h00 during 1 April and 31 August, all consumers are prohibited from watering and irrigating their gardens; and
  • All consumers are prohibited from using a hose-pipe to clean paved areas and driveways with municipal water.

The implementation of by-law enforcement is crucial for Joburg to be a City that works. The JMPD has issued a total of 665 fines to consumers who contravened the Water Services By-law and consumers are urged to report non-compliance by phoning the JMPD 24/7 hotline on 011 758 9650.

I have been assured that Joburg Water will continue to remain in contact with stakeholders to educate them about water conservation, to disseminate information and respond to feedback.

We must change the manner in which all of us engage with water. The current water footprint for the City of Joburg is 309 liters per capita per day (l/c/d), compared to the national and world averages of 274 liters and 175 liters respectively. At the height of the restrictions, the demand reduced to 289 liters per capita per day.

Water saving must become part of our lifestyle. The water conservation measures implemented as a result of the restrictions must become the norm.  Residents are urged to keep on using grey water for watering gardens and flushing toilets; to report leaks and bursts and install water saving devices.

The success of our interventions depend on all of us working together to ensure that our taps do not dry up in future.

Media enquiries:
Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services Department
083 899 2127