Residents in the Greater Hermanus area, from Voëlklip to Benguela Cove, will face Level 3 water restrictions from 1 November, according to the municipality.

This follows less than expected rainfall during the winter season and very little ground moisture resulting in less run-off into the De Dos Dam. From January to August this year only 337.5 mm of rain was recorded compared to an average of 450 mm in previous years for the same period. In September only 23 mm of rain was recorded.

The new restrictions stipulate that all consumers of municipal water may not water gardens, flowerbeds, sports fields, parks, lawns or any other open spaces using a hose pipe or an irrigation system. Only watering by hand using buckets or watering cans is still allowed.

The washing of vehicles and watercraft with a hosepipe using municipal water is also not allowed, together with the hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas.

Residents are also not allowed to fill their swimming pools with municipal water.

According to the municipality, the current Level 1 restriction tariffs will remain in place with the Level 3 water restrictions. This means that the tariffs for all water usage in the Hermanus area are still 30% higher than normal, except for domestic use below 6 kilolitres per month, where the baseline tariff remains unchanged.

Nurseries and commercial car wash facilities where high pressure equipment is used are exempted from the water restrictions.

Where alternative water sources are utilized for irrigation, e.g. boreholes, well points, greywater, or rainwater, consumers must ensure that they display appropriate signage that is clearly visible from the street.

The annual rainfall for the area has been below normal since 2015 when, according to statistics of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), a total of 466.6 mm was recorded against an annual average recorded over the last 70 years of 606.1 mm. In 2016 rainfall of 538.9 mm was recorded; in 2017, 524.5 mm and in 2018 504.2 mm.

The current level of the De Bos Dam is 43.96% against the 68.07 % at the same time last year. Rainfall for the week was measured at 10.5 mm, while the average daily water consumption was 10.86 million litres per day. During the peak holiday season, the daily average consumption rises to between 13 and 15 million litres per day.

At the beginning of November 2017, the municipality implemented level 1 water restrictions for the Greater Hermanus area and upgraded it to level 2 in June 2018. According to the municipality, the restrictions will apply until such time as the De Bos Dam has reached a level of at least 70%.

The Kraaibosch Dam that serves Gansbaai is 99% full, while the Pearly Beach, Buffelsrivier as well as the Koekemoer dams are filled to capacity.

Customers who wish to apply for an exemption or relaxation of the restrictions can apply to the Deputy Director: Engineering Planning, by emailing a motivation to depdircomsec@overstrand.gov.za.

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