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Mayor: Defeat the water challenge!

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As the Mayor of Stellenbosch, I would like to share information regarding the greater Stellenbosch water situation with our residents. This will help to assist with some frequently asked questions and give clarity about our water situation going forward.

Stellenbosch Municipality is moving to Level 6 water restrictions, as of 1 February 2018. Residents will be restricted to 87 litres of water per person per day until further notice. The City of Cape Town has moved to level 6B and is restricting their residents to 50 litres per day. Stellenbosch Municipality may decide to increase restrictions to level 6B at a later date.

Currently the Greater Stellenbosch has achieved a saving of 44% compared to 2015. This water consumption needs to be reduced further in relation to the 2015 baseline usage to achieve a saving of 45%.

For now residents must limit their daily water consumption to 87 litres per day. This means that any person’s combined water consumption at work, home and any other place he or she may go throughout the day must not exceed 87 litres per day.

In June 2017 the Stellenbosch Municipal Council approved the Drought Management Plan. This plan made R45 million available for the sourcing of additional groundwater and purification plants for boreholes.  We have already sourced 18 000 kilolitre water per day and have advanced planning in place for an additional 6000 kilolitre per day.

Conservatively we can assure the region of 14 000 kilolitre per day and we are drilling additional holes and expect to source a further 4000 kilolitre water per day before the end February 2018. The Municipality is planning to have 18 000 kilolitre purified water per day available from 1 April 2018. As we continue to connect the boreholes to our main water supply system, our water dependence on the City of Cape Town’s sources will decrease significantly.

By the end of March 2018, we will take Klapmuts, Franschhoek and the Dwarsrivier Valley (including Pniel, Kylemore, Johannesdal and Lanquedoc) off the Wemmershoek system and connect it to our own system, freeing up water for the City of Cape Town.

The Municipality is also working closely with the University of Stellenbosch to ensure that the students are aware of the water restrictions. The university has launched water saving schemes, which should drastically reduce its water consumption.

The Municipality urges all residents to give their full cooperation in this matter. Residents who do not adhere to the restrictions will face hefty fines.  Residents must make every effort to collect and recycle grey water and to limit their use of potable (drinkable) water as much as possible.

In summary: Judged on the present water supply and demand, Stellenbosch Municipality is confident that it will be able to provide for the most basic water needs of all our residents. Cooperation is however critical and every person must take up the challenge to save and recycle water wherever possible.  Water will remain very scarce and there will be no room for any waste or exceeding the water restrictions.

Let us join hands and together face this difficult situation. Working together we can overcome this challenge.