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Stricter Water Restrictions announced – Adherence critical to manage treated drinking water capacity

Stricter Water Restrictions will be implemented for George following a decision taken at Council today, 24 November 2022. The restrictions in place since 25 January 2022 will be replaced with intensified Water Restrictions to better manage the use of potable (treated drinking water).

Low rainfall over past three months
The catchment area of George received a much lower than predicated rainfall with a total of only 117.2mm recorded from 1 July  – 14 November 2022. Predictions by the Cape Town Forecasting Office(South African Weather Service)  for the Garden Route for the next three months (December – February 2023) currently remain uncertain, but not positive.

Temporary Water Treatment Package Plant
The Municipality has noted a marked increase in daily water usage since the first week of November this year marking the start of what is expected to be an unusually busy festive season. With the additional 20Ml/day Water Treatment Works (treats raw water to drinking water standard) under construction for the next three years (Completion 2025) and various improvements at the Old WTW (circa 1950) still in process, the water treatment capacity remains limited, and a temporary water treatment package plant will be installed to supplement the potable (drinking water)  with an extra 5 Ml/day. This temporary plant will be operational from mid-December and provide much needed additional capacity to meet the peak season demand, however there remains a high risk of not being able to meet the full demand.

Current Dam Level at 51%
The Garden Route Dam level this week (21 November 2022) was recorded at 51.88% current storage for the new raised dam wall height. The dam was at 100% this time last year after the flood events, and the level has steadily declined since then due to poor rainfall. The official calibration of the dam will be concluded in the coming months, however the current volumes are deemed to be acceptably indicative.

At the moment George falls within the category of Medium Risk in terms of Water Storage Risk Classification ( 3 to 6 months raw water supply) as we are dependent on river abstraction for water supply.

Stricter Water Restrictions Announced
The limited water treatment capacity, and ongoing non-compliance with the water restrictions by certain consumers, necessitates the implementation of increased water restrictions together with the introduction of more punitive measures to encourage reduced water consumption. The ongoing loadshedding also has a negative impact on the ability to treat raw water (despite the use of generators) reducing the reliability of daily treatment volumes.

The enhanced water restrictions will have financial implications for residents, businesses and industry who do not manage their water use conservatively. The implementation of punitive rates is seen as a last resort as an incentive to adhere to restrictions and reduce consumption.

These restrictions are specific to the George city area, and not Uniondale and Haarlem.

Public Participation Process
The intended Water Restrictions and applicable Emergency Tariffs will be made available for public comment for a period of 14 days with notices published in the local media.  The notice can be viewed on the website. Notices  will be placed at public libraries, area offices, Municipal offices and the Municipal Notice Boards.

Comments can be emailed to Ms Sam Gcagcaso at, or delivered as a handwritten submission on weekdays (07h45- 16h30) to the Department: Civil Engineering Services, Old Town Hall, corner of Market and York Streets, and by no later than 16h30 on 12 December 2022.

Report contraventions of the current Water Restrictions on 0800 424477 – fines apply.
Report all water leaks on 044 801 
9262/66  or A/ h 044 801 6300

Water Leaks can also be reported at your nearest Area Office or Thusong Centre, emailed to , via the Municipal App or phoned in to 044 801 9311.