Residential water restrictions explained

Insufficient rainfall and fast declining dam levels have led to the current drought in Cape Town. We need to work together to change the way we use our water. Find out about commercial water restrictions. Find out about commercial water restrictions. 

Water restrictions

Level 6B water restrictions include:

  • A daily limit of 50 litres or less per person whether at home, work, school or elsewhere.
  • Outdoor usage of boreholes is strongly discouraged. Usage for irrigation purposes will be limited to a maximum of one hour only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 and after 18:00.
  • Borehole/wellpoint water use must be metered and all users are required to keep records and have these available for inspection.
  • Permission from the national Department of Water and Sanitation is needed to sell or buy borehole/wellpoint water.
  • Agricultural users need to reduce usage by 60% compared with the corresponding period in 2015 (pre-drought)
  • Commercial properties need to reduce usage by 45% compared with the corresponding period in 2015 (pre-drought)
  • Residential units using excessive amounts of water will be fined or have water management devices installed on their properties.
  • Hosing down of paved surfaces with municipal drinking water is illegal.
  • Irrigation or watering with municipal drinking water is illegal.
  • No use of portable play pools.
  • Washing of vehicles, trailers, caravans or boats with municipal drinking water is illegal.
  • Filling/topping up of private swimming pools with municipal drinking water is illegal.
  • Water features may not use municipal drinking water.
  • All residents are strongly encouraged to install water-efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing mechanisms.


About 70% of all water used in the city is consumed in homes. Find out more about how water is used in Cape Town see the Consumer section in Water Services and the Cape Town Urban Water Cycle.

Water tariffs

As of 1 February 2018 you are charged according to Level 6 tariffs (applicable during Level 6B restrictions), see below:

Water Steps

                                                           Step 1 (>0 ≤ 6kl)  - R29.93 (free for indigent households)

                                                                  Step 2 (>6 ≤ 10.5kl) - R52.44 (R17.75 for indigent households)

Step 3 (>10.5 ≤ 20kl) - R114

Step 4 (>20 ≤ 35kl) - R342

Step 5 (>35 ≤ 50kl) - R912

Step 6 (>50k) -  R912

Excessive water use

Households using excessive amounts of drinking water will be fined or have water management devices installed on the properties, in line with the City’s Water By-law. Fines are expected to be in the region of R5 000 – R10 000.

If you have more than four people in your household you can provide the City with adequate motivation to justify higher monthly water use.

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