The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department is appealing to all residents to please adhere to the specified times for watering gardens, lawns and plants in order to prevent water wastage.

This is in line with the City’s water by-laws and is particularly important over the summer season which traditionally see a drop in dam levels. The City’s dam levels are currently at 72,9% and, while this is not cause for concern at this stage, the City appeals to residents to please use water sparingly.

“During the hot and dry summer months, plants use more water and there is a high level of evaporation. We appreciate that irrigation of plants, gardens, lawns, parks, trees, open spaces, road verges and centre islands is necessary for maintaining the natural beauty of our city, but it must be borne in mind that watering is only allowed before 10:00 in the morning and after 16:00 in the afternoon – on any day of the week.

“Cape Town is one of the water scarce areas in South Africa and residents are encouraged to always conserve water. Sticking to the prescribed times is a good conservation measure as evaporation is minimal at night and in the early morning. Residents should note that action can be taken against them for non-compliance with the prescribed watering times,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

The following rules apply when watering:

  • Only water gardens before 10:00 or after 16:00;
  • All hosepipes used for washing vehicles must have an automatic self-closing nozzle fitted;
  • Residents who use borehole or wellpoint water must register or re-register their boreholes and well points with the City. A new sign and certificate of appreciation will be provided to those who register new and re-register existing boreholes and well points, which must be displayed prominently. Although they are exempt from the watering time stipulations, users of borehole and well point water are encouraged to only water their gardens during the stipulated watering times according to the City’s by-laws. Full details on borehole and well point registration are available on the City’s website at

The City’s Water Saving Campaign encourages residents to make a personal commitment to saving water by downloading the Water Ambassador Pledge that is available on the new campaign website at The pledge places a responsibility on all water users to use water responsibly and report water wastage.

“We are grateful to those residents, businesses and communities who adhere to the watering times and equally thankful to those who report water wastage and watering outside the stipulated hours. Water is a precious and limited resource. Let’s all keep saving water, while we can,” said Councillor Sonnenberg.

The monitoring and enforcement of the City’s water by-laws will intensify during the Water Week celebrations in March, with a particular focus on adherence to watering times.


NO. 1174 / 2013