City of Cape Town discourages residents from using borehole water to keep gardens green


Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille with Xanthea Limberg, MMC in City of Cape Town for water and waste settlements. 

Cape Town – Capetonians with boreholes should stop using the water to keep gardens green, and rather limit their borehole water use to flushing toilets, the City's water and sanitation director said on Tuesday. "It seems unreasonable in these dire times that people try and maintain green rolling lawns and lush gardens," said Peter Flower. "I really think that Cape Town should get past the point of wanting to maintain green lush lawns and gardens that look like they've come out of somewhere in the UK," he said. The City's potable water supplies are already not allowed to be used for irrigation, but a grey area exists in the use of boreholes. 

On January 1, the City introduced level 6 water restrictions, which discourage borehole water use for outdoor purposes to preserve groundwater. It is up to the national Department of Water and Sanitation to enforce borehole water use rules, although boreholes must also be registered with the City. Flower said the City is currently in talks with the national department over this. Cape Town's dams are currently at an average of 29% full, and the City needs to reduce use further to get below the 500 million litres a day mark. Individuals are restricted to 87 litres a day.

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