Water woes

After the implementation of tougher water restrictions at the beginning of the year, with no significant rain having fallen in the interim, and with the local dam levels still dropping (down to 46.6% this week), it seems that the City of Cape Town is about to get tough with people wasting water.

Of course they are.

Somewhat predictably, there is (sigh) “outrage” over the whole situation though, with residents angry firstly that reported leaks and burst pipes are not being attended to, and secondly that anyone flouting the restrictions seems to do so with complete impunity.

Resident Rob McIver says mayoral committee member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg should ensure his own department is in order before threatening citizens with fines for water wastage.

And Rob McIver isn’t wrong.

Sonnenberg replies that the city are getting there – it’s just that they’ve got a lot to do:

“The City services a pipe network of close to 11 000km (the equivalent distance from here to Australia), to which 650 000 households are connected, so a certain degree of resource optimisation is required.”

Quite why we are exporting water to Perth is a bit beyond me.
I thought it was just racists we sent over there.

Anyway, just because the city is allegedly slow to repair leaking pipes doesn’t mean that it’s ok for people to ignore the water restrictions currently in force. Two wrongs and all that. But the idea the city is going to fine people who break the rules is laughable. Everybody is at it, with no concern whatsoever over any sort of prosecution. From the kids’ school, through the wife’s work, to our office park, to Wynberg “Maximum Evaporation” Boys High School, who spend all day, every day watering – especially if it’s hot. The entire population – not least the City itself – would be on trial almost immediately.

So, if Ernest really was… earnest… about getting legal with the naughty people, why hasn’t he started already? He’s had five weeks of opportunity, 5 weeks to make a stand and show that he’s serious about saving water. But nada.

It hasn’t happened yet, and I for one am not holding my breath.

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