Locals will now be allowed to irrigate their gardens using potable water and water-efficient methods as the city has implemented minor adjustments to the terms of Level 3 water restrictions.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, says these irrigation methods can only be used at allocated times.

“Water-efficient irrigation methods using potable water are now allowed for a for a maximum of one hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays either before 9am or after 6pm,” she says.

Residents can use a sprinkler or hosepipe fitted with a self-closing nozzle on a Saturday.

Watering gardens using a bucket or watering can is still allowed, and watering hours are restricted to before 9am or after 6pm for one hour per day per property, regardless of the watering method used.

The restrictions have been slightly eased due to the dam water levels, which are standing higher than this time last year at just over 53%, compared to 24% the year before.

Various methods of water-efficient irrigation include: 

– Dripper systems

– Drip-lines

– Soaker hose irrigation systems

– Sub-surface or direct-to-root irrigation methods are highly efficient and cost-effective.

The City says it is fulfilling the requests of local residents who would like to keep their gardens green.

“With the dams supplying the city being at a much healthier level when compared to the same period last year, we have been able to responsibly motivate for the call of residents to be heard.”

Limberg explains that although restrictions may been relaxed, locals are encouraged to keep using water wisely.

“While this aspect of Level 3 restrictions has been relaxed, residents are reminded that the need for ongoing restraint and adherence to daily consumption limits remain in place. The personal water use limit remains at 105 litres per person per day, and the City’s collective water usage target is 650-million litres per day.”

  •   Sports facilities, parks, schools, learning institutions, nurseries, customers involved in

    agricultural activities, users with historical gardens and customers with special requirements

    can apply to the Director: Water and Sanitation for exemption from the above.

  •   No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water within 48 hours of rainfall that provides

    adequate saturation.

  •   Borehole/wellpoint water must be used efficiently to avoid wastage and evaporation.

    Borehole/wellpoint water users are strongly encouraged to follow the same watering times

    as applicable to municipal drinking water use detailed above.

  •   All City borehole and wellpoint users are expected to comply with all National Department of

    Water and Sanitation regulations pertaining to borehole/wellpoint usage, including the notice in the Government Gazette No. 41381 (Vol. 631) of 12 January 2018. Borehole/wellpoint water use must be metered and all users are required to keep records and have these available for inspection.

  •   Permission from the National Department of Water and Sanitation is required in order to sell or buy borehole/wellpoint water.


  •   All boreholes and wellpoints must be registered with the City and must display the official City signage clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. Visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for information on how to register.
  •   All properties where alternative, non-drinking water resources are used (including rainwater harvesting, greywater, basement water, treated effluent water, spring water and surface water) must display signage to this effect which is clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.
  •   Topping up or filling of swimming pools with municipal drinking water allowed subject to 1) the pool being covered with a non-permeable solid pool cover when not in use and 2) the recovery of backwash water and the use of rainwater for pool topping up where practically possible.
  •   No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal drinking water allowed. Water users, such as abattoirs, food processing industries, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs (health/safety related only) must apply for exemption.
  •   The use of municipal drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is prohibited.
  •   Customers are strongly encouraged to install water efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components.
  •   Customers with special requirements can apply to the Director: Water and Sanitation for exemption.

    Restrictions applicable to residential customers

  •   All residents are required to use no more than 105 litres of municipal drinking water per person per day in total irrespective of whether you are at home, work or elsewhere.
  •   Washing vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats with municipal drinking water is only allowed if using a bucket. Washing with non-drinking water or cleaning with waterless products or dry steam cleaning processes is strongly encouraged.
  •   You are encouraged to flush toilets with greywater, rainwater or other non-drinking water.

    Restrictions applicable to non-residential customers

  •   Commercial car wash industries must comply with industry best practice norms regarding water usage per car washed and recycle or reuse a minimum of 50% of water used.
  •   Informal car washes to use only buckets and not hosepipes.
  •   Washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats with non-drinking water or cleaning with

    waterless products or dry steam cleaning processes is strongly encouraged.

  •   Spray parks to be strictly managed to minimise water use.
  •   No new landscaping or sports fields may be established, except if irrigated only with non-

    drinking water.



 For users supplied with water in terms of special contracts (notarial deeds, water service intermediaries or water service providers), the contract conditions shall apply.