The City of Cape Town has made some key shifts in the way it thinks about water and has come up with a draft strategy that hopes to cushion citizens from future water shocks.
While no strategy can ensure a city is totally "drought-proof", the plan aims to ensure the city never has to experience the threat of taps running dry again.
The City has asked the public to comment on the proposed draft strategy by March 15, which can be found on its website or HERE.
These are 10 ways in which the City hopes to achieve this:
1) The City will bring in new water supplies by investing R5.7bn over 10 years in desalination plants, groundwater use and treating sewage effluent for reuse.
2) New sources will increase the water supply by 300 million litres a day.
3) Sewage effluent will be treated to drinking water standards as a new water source and will also be pumped into the Cape Flats Aquifer to recharge the groundwater supply that is extracted.
4) Tariffs for water will increase, both the fixed cost and the tariffs for the amount of water used, to cover the cost of the investment in new water supplies. But they will not be as high as they were in the 2018 drought.
5) By-laws and building codes will change and incentives introduced to promote the use of water efficient technology such as low-flush lavatories, low-flow showers and taps and greywater use.
6) Stormwater that normally runs out to sea will be harnessed and used as a water source.
7) Tariffs will be stepped to discourage water wastage, while cash collection for water services will be improved.
8) The City will encourage the design of water-saving products and services.
9) It will step up water pressure management, water leak detection and alien plant eradication.
10) It will introduce a "rainless day" fund to set aside funds for use in future droughts so consumers do not carry the entire financial burden.
Those wishing to have their say can do so on the City's website. Written submissions can be made at sub-council offices.
General queries can be relayed through Nathan Fisher on 021 400 1450. Those needing special assistance, such as for disabilities, can contact Ismail du Plooy on 021 400 1184.