Understanding Water Restrictions

While large parts of the country are enjoying a welcome respite from one of the worst droughts in almost 100 years,  the Western Cape is facing unprecedented water restrictions. And while it sounds fairly straight-forward, there’s a lot more to water restrictions than simply taking a short shower.

water restrictions

With Cape Town’s dams running on empty, water is more precious than ever. So, to ensure there’ll be enough water in the coming months, the municipalities are throttling water supply by decreasing the pressure in taps, which means less water is being pumped through the pipes.

There are various levels of restriction depending on the severity of the water shortage in a specific area. Each level comes with its own unique rules and limitations. On top of this, should you fail to adhere to these outlines, you could face a hefty fine at the end of the month.


There are four levels, but the Western Cape has become the first province to enter a level 3B restriction level. So what exactly does that mean?

water restrictions


While the water restrictions could be an inconvenience for many, it’s best not to ignore them. If you do, you’ll have to pay up. Cape Town municipalities have implemented a new tariff system to keep users in check. The average domestic use per household is 10.5 kilolitres. The moment you start to use more than this average, you will pay more per kilolitre.

water usage


Should you know of someone using water beyond the above rules, you can report them to your local municipality.

  • You can also report water wasters by calling 0860 103 089.
  • If you spot any water leaks, you can report them here.

Sources: Johannesburg Water, capetown.gov.za