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City celebrates full dams for first time since 2014<p>It is clear that as a society we have completely changed our relationship with water. </p><p>The City’s water saving achievements have been internationally lauded, with the International Water Association naming Cape Town the world’s number 1 water saving city for reducing demand by 55% between 2015 and 2018 without resorting to intermittent supply. </p><p>Greater water resilience and water-wise usage is a change that climate change will force many more countries and cities to make in coming years. </p><p>Without this intensive water saving by residents, however, our position would not be quite as secure. Full dams may give the impression that our troubles are over, but rainfall this year was only just above average. </p><p>Low consumption has also contributed to the recovery of the dams. Although there is some room to relax, we need to remain vigilant that water consumption remains at a water wise level and proceed diligently with additional water sources including groundwater, reuse and desalination as outlined in the City’s Water Strategy. Climate change studies undertaken by the City indicate that droughts such as the one we have just experienced will occur more often and last longer. <br>Full dams, however, raise obvious questions around whether tariffs will be eased. </p><p>In response, the City can say consultations around appropriate tariffs and restrictions for the 2020/21 hydrological year (which runs from 1 November to 31 October) are currently taking place. Tariffs are currently on the second lowest level possible in terms of the City’s 2020/21 Budget, and have come down significantly since the peak of the drought. The no restriction, water-wise tariff which is under consideration will provide some relief, but with due cognisance of the importance that sufficient funding is available to continue increasing our resilience. Also being taken into consideration is the projected increase of the proportion of residents needing indigent support, in part due to the deteriorated national economic climate. </p><p>A financially unsustainable water supply system will ultimately hurt the next generation. The drought made it clear that it is necessary for the City to go above and beyond its Constitutional mandate to build water security by investing in alternative water supply sources. While building resilience against climate change does come at a cost, it will be worth it in the long run. This prioritisation of water security/resilience is the principle that underpins the water tariffs. The City assures residents that no profit is budgeted for from the sale of water. Tariffs are set only to cover costs of our water service, including investing in new water sources.</p><p>Assuming climate change predictions are correct, the City will not be the first that will require a tariff reform to adapt to the new normal. Many communities around the world are grappling with climate uncertainty and how to balance preparation for climate change with the current needs and preferences of their populations. Many more communities will soon need to realise the degree to which water availability has been taken for granted. </p><p>We also expect that in years to come the slow natural rebound of consumption back from drought-levels will favourably influence the level of tariff increases which are required year-on-year going forward. </p><p>While consultations around appropriate restrictions and tariffs for the next hydrological year take place over the next few weeks, the City would like to thank residents and businesses for using water responsibly and encourages all users of services to continue paying their accounts. This investment has been invaluable in the City’s efforts to build resilience against climate change, and will play a key role in the City’s recovery from the economic consequences of the lockdown. </p><p><strong>More information about the City’s Water Strategy can be found here: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a></p><p>For more information on new water sources, water restrictions (Level 1 currently in place), what step down in restrictions would look like, guidelines around alternative water sources such as boreholes and rainwater tanks, as well as tariff information, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </p><p><span aria-hidden="true"></span><strong>High resolution photographs are available here: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc"></font></span></strong></a><strong> <span aria-hidden="true"></span></strong></p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2020-10-01T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4aeffa45-6f38-46b7-bd4d-6ecf13ae2543;L0|#04aeffa45-6f38-46b7-bd4d-6ecf13ae2543|dam levels;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#8f0aed5b-4ba7-472c-92c5-c1c5bc737567;L0|#08f0aed5b-4ba7-472c-92c5-c1c5bc737567|water restrictions;GP0|#c051804d-9325-43b9-997f-daafb2e20bd5;L0|#0c051804d-9325-43b9-997f-daafb2e20bd5|think water;GPP|#8f0aed5b-4ba7-472c-92c5-c1c5bc7375671

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