Several South African cities have been struggling with water shortages as baseline temperatures across the country continue to rise significantly. The water shortages have led to considerable reductions in the volume of water supply to major cities, including the capital Pretoria. According to the ENews Channel Africa, city officials in Cape Town have urged residents to make sure that their water consumption over the coming summer months remains consistent with their usage during the winter to ensure that dams are not drawn to dangerous levels.
A number of important water reservoirs, including Rand Water, the Bloemhof Dam, and the Vaal River System, which supply major South African cities with the bulk of their water, have seen their water levels fall to below 30 percent of capacity. Authorities have responded by implementing a series of restrictions on residents’ water consumption..
Beginning Tuesday, Cape Town will also implement Level 3 water restrictions, meaning residents may not use hosepipes or sprinkler systems, and may only water their gardens in the mornings and evenings.
Johannesburg has implemented Level 2 water restrictions with officials saying the city now receives 15 percent less water from Rand Water. Consequently, some suburbs are already experiencing irregularities
In Pretoria, the municipalities of Laudium and Atteridgeville have been left without a water supply as a result of the new cuts by Rand Water. Mayor Solly Msimanga has issued warnings of hefty spot fines for residents who ignore water restrictions.
As the South African summer approaches and the current heat wave continues, experts have warned of further cuts in the days ahead. Barring any other radical approach, experts say the only solution to the current water shortage is for those who still have water to significantly reduce their consumption immediately.