The City of Joburg called the current water shortage ‘one of a kind’ – but the city’s water reservoirs still remain low (though stable), resulting in the stringent monitoring of the public use of water.
Last year, the city had to restrict water usage after cables were stolen, but now the environment and infrastructure member of the mayoral committee, spokesperson Anda Mbikwana, said this year’s shortage was the first of a kind.
Mbikwana said due to the shortage and the need to monitor usage, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department would be patrolling the city to monitor residents’ use of water. Mbikwana said a fine of R1 500 would be imposed on anyone not complying with the water restrictions.
Though the city does not have the power to switch off water to non-compliant households, guilty households would have to settle the usage with their normal electricity bill. On Monday, authorities announced the implementation of control measures that would result in a supply pressure decrease as Rand Water struggled to fill its reservoirs.
Mbikwana said the city monitors water reservoirs every evening, and currently levels were at 59% full. Rand Water’s spokesperson Justice Mogale said one of the facility’s largest reservoirs had run dry. The Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, said the current drought affected 173 of the 1 628 water supply schemes nationally which serve about 2.7 million households.
Johannesburg yesterday called on the public to go easy on hosepipes, not to brush teeth with the water running, and not to irrigate gardens between 6am and 6pm. Residents are urged to report non-compliance to the following number: 0860-562-874.
To help consumers during level 2, residents must comply with the following:
- Encourage the use of borehole water
- Use bathwater or grey water for watering gardens
- Continue to take shorter showers
- Not let water run during brushing teeth
- Always do full loads of washing – be it the clothes washing machine or dish washer.