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Latest water map shows many more Capetonians painting the city green

The City of Cape Town has released the monthly update of the water map. It is encouraging to see that, according to the latest mapping information for December 2017, some 28 000 residents have received green dots for the first time. Well done for joining all of the water savers in Cape Town. Read more below:

We also thank our new water heroes, approximately 24 500 of them, who have gone from a light green dot to the coveted dark green dot.

The water map marks residential properties using less than 10 500 litres per month with green dots. The map shows that many households across Cape Town are working hard to save water. These water-savers are members of Team Cape Town, and together they are working hard to get Cape Town through the worst drought in a thousand years.

The formal residential sector uses by far the largest chunk (some 65%) of our water allocation. This sector holds the key to helping us avoid Day Zero, the day when the taps will be turned off.

Day Zero can only be avoided if all residences reduce their daily use to 50 litres per person per day.

Consumption is indicated on the map as follows:

  • Dark green dot: household using less than 6 000 litres per month
  • Light green dot: household using between 6 000 and 10 500 litres per month
  • Grey dot: estimated consumption due to the meter not being read, zero consumption or no information available

Note: the map simply indicates water consumption not compliance with water restriction limits. Households with higher consumption may have many people living on the property or may have an undetected water leak.

The map only shows consumption for free-standing houses and not cluster housing, flats or other land uses. In addition, the map shows consumption information from meters read in the previous month and this information is updated around the third week of the following month. For example, consumption information from meters read in January 2018 will be available in the third week of February 2018. Consumption shown on the map may differ from your municipal bill due to variation in the billing period.

Households using more than 10 500 litres per month are not shown on the map. However, high consumers are often unaware of their consumption but are willing to change their behaviour once approached. In many cases, high consumers have become Cape Town’s best water warriors once they have become aware of their consumption. Therefore, neighbourhoods should have constructive engagements which one another to ensure that their neighbourood is painted green.

Speak to neighbourhood groups in your area in order to collectively manage water consumption in your area.

The City believes that making consumption information available will assist residents and communities to better manage water consumption.

New Level 6B water consumption guidelines:

From 1 February 2018 all residents must use less than 50 litres per person per day. The table below provides a guide for how much water your household should be using based on the number of occupants. As most people also consume water at work, school or elsewhere, your household consumption should be lower than the maximum amount indicated in the table.

Maximum household consumption guide:

Number occupants Litres per day Approximate litres per month per household
1 50 1 500
2 100 3 000
3 150 4 500
4 200 6 000
5 250 7 500
6 300 9 000
7 350 10 500
8 400 12 000

Thus a four-person household, all using a maximum of 50 litres per day per person, should now use less than 6 000 litres. As most households in Cape Town consist of three or fewer persons, most households are expected to consume less than 6 000 litres per month.  A two-person household should have consumption of less than 3 000 litres per month.

However, please note that the map shows consumption information from meters read in December. The higher 87 litres per person per day limit was applicable in this period.

Remember that consumption higher than 10 500 litres per month (no green dot) does not necessarily indicate water abuse. There are many legitimate reasons for this:

  • High number of occupants or guests in the house
  • Water leaks that the occupants are unaware of (this happens frequently)
  • The operation of a home business or B&B on the property
  • Recently completed building work
  • Consumption is not shown for group housing or properties with an estimated water reading of over 10 500 litres or where information is not available
  • In rare cases, there may be an error in the consumption information, the property may have the incorrect tariff land-use code or the consumption information could be spatially linked to the incorrect property on the map

Also note that consumption indicated on the map can lag actual consumption by up to two months and the problem causing the high consumption may have already been addressed.

Are there errors in the consumption data?

Cape Town consumption information data is generally quite accurate. However, no billing system is 100% correct. The City will continue to do its best to investigate all complaint received regarding the accuracy of the map. Many complaints have already been investigated and, to date, very few errors have been detected. Customers are reminded that the map shows consumption for a previous month (not current consumption) and may differ from consumption shown in your municipal bill.

Even though the number of properties with incorrect billing is low, the City is very aware of the considerable frustration and inconvenience for these properties and we apologise in advance. We ask that you please bear with us. The potential water-saving benefit for all of Cape Town which can be effected by making overwhelmingly accurate water consumption data publicly available outweighs the drawback that a small number of properties with incorrect billing entails.

Some water meters are not read. This usually happens when the water meter reader cannot access the meter. In such cases, water use is estimated based on previous water meter readings.

We suggest the following:

  • Water users can submit your meter reading yourself, using e-Services. You can register for e-Services, then activate the municipal accounts service and enter your monthly water meter readings. You can also phone in your meter reading by calling 0860 103 089.
  • If the meter is inside your property you can log a call for a  Service Request to have it relocated so it can be read. Please make sure that your meter is visible, easily accessible and not obstructed by vegetation, building rubble, sand, etc.

Visit to view the map.

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town


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