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Issue by the City of Cape Town on 7 September 2017

Drought crisis: Level 5 water restrictions

Water consumption continues to be dangerously high in Cape Town and we are currently using 604 million litres per day. We must take a tougher stance on using less water to get us through as much of summer 2018 as possible.

For an in-depth look at Cape Town’s rainfall pattern and severity of the drought crisis, see the recently published study conducted by University of Cape Town’s Climate System Analysis Group.

To help cut water use, we have implemented Level 5 water restrictions, which include additional measures:

  • the commercial sector must reduce water consumption by 20% over the next month or be subject to fines for every month consumption is not reduced
  • residential properties with excessively high water consumption will be automatically fined on usage more than 20 000 litres
  • residential complexes with excessively high water consumption, based on the average for all units, will be fined

The daily consumption limit remains below 87 litre per person, whether at home, work, school or elsewhere. But Level 5 also makes provision for the City to automatically fine residential units constantly using more than 20 000 litres per month. We await feedback from the Chief Magistrate.

See the complete list of Level 5 restrictions as well as an overview.

Saving water is everyone’s responsibility

Make sure you:

Visit for more information.


Commercial property managers must immediately cut your property’s monthly water consumption by 20%. The City will institute automatic admission of guilt fines on commercial properties using excessive amounts of drinking water.

Find out more on commercial water restrictions.


Remember to use less than 87 litres per person per day whether at home, work or elsewhere. The City will institute automatic admission of guilt fines on domestic properties using more than 20 000 litres of water per month. If you have excessively high consumption you will need to provide the City with adequate motivation to justify your higher consumption.

Remember: It is the responsibility of the unit landlord and complex body corporate to ensure water usage is less than 87 litres per person per day.

Pressure reduction and enforcement

We have intensified water pressure reduction and you may experience supply interruptions. In addition, multi-storey buildings that do not use pumps and overhead tanks (required by our building regulations) may experience supply problems. Check with your body corporate or managing agent to find out if your building uses these systems.

We are installing water management devices, at the cost of the property owner, at properties that are still using excessive amounts of water. The costs range between R4 560 and R4 732.

Water resilience plan

Our Water Resilience Task Team has developed a plan to augment the Cape Town’s water system with 500 million litres of drinking water per day. Find out more about the technologies that will be used. Remember, this goes hand-in-hand with reducing consumption to 500 million litres.

Thank you Cape Town!

Thank you to the many Capetonians who have employed numerous simple and innovative ways to save water. You have helped us to stretch our reserves and continue to make a great impact in terms of the overall water saving efforts. However, I believe we are within a scenario called the new normal – a scenario in which we do not bank on the drought ending but rather actively plan as if it will continue indefinitely. Continued water saving is therefore essential.’

Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille