This while neighbours Knysna have been grappling with stage 3 water restrictions since March this year and lesser restrictions for the past decade. The average water level for dams across the Western Cape has also this week dropped to below 20% with five municipalities having been declared disaster areas this year alone.
Bitou municipal manager Thabo Ndlovo said that due to the severe nationwide drought, Bitou’s main water reservoir, the Roodefontein Dam, level had fell to less than 60% this week and the flow rate of the Keurbooms River – the area’s biggest water resource – started decreasing gradually “by the day”.
He said as precautionary measure, to ensure water remained available to Bitou residents during this critical period, the municipality had taken “the unfortunate decision” to institute stage 1 water restrictions with immediate effect.
“These restrictions only apply to water obtained from the municipal potable water supply sources and does not affect recycled water such as dish and bathwater or residents that make use of private boreholes,” Ndlovu said.
The restrictions also prohibit residents from hosing down roofs and driveways or using a hose to wash a vehicle expect for car wash businesses.
Ndlovo said any person who contravenes these restrictions was guilty of an offence and was, upon conviction, liable to a fine as published in the annual tariffs list. Contraventions should be reported to the 24-hour number 086 124 8686.
Bitou municipal spokesman Howard Swartz, Plettenberg Bay had so far warded off the crippling effects of the nationwide drought, despite neighbouring towns battling to keep the taps running, due to good water management strategies.