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Be Water-Wise in Cape Town

With the ongoing water crisis due to the drought in the Western Cape, South African Tourism urges holidaymakers and locals alike to use water sparingly and responsibly this festive season.

This week, the City of Cape Town announced that its water crisis had worsened, with dam levels dropping and consumption increasing.

This is a serious cause for concern, said South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona. He said: “We know that this is peak holiday season in the Cape, but want to send out an urgent appeal to tourism and hospitality businesses, as well as holidaymakers, to conserve water wherever possible. The situation has reached critical proportions and we cannot afford to ignore it.”

“To those who have booked their holidays in water-scarce areas like Cape Town and Beaufort West: please be extra–vigilant when using water during this severe drought. Water is a precious resource and we urge all holidaymakers, as they make their way to various tourism destinations across the country, to be vigilant and water-wise.”

“South Africa has a variety of tourism offerings across its nine provinces. With ample value-for-money attractions spread around the country, holidaymakers are encouraged to explore more of the country. For more details of various packages available, visit the ShotLeft website,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, added: “It’s imperative, especially at this time when we welcome visitors to our city, that saving water becomes our primary message and action; this focus on responsibility regarding our resources is what will ensure the long-term longevity and sustainability of the industry, for the benefit of locals and visitors alike.”

Ntshona applauded Cape Town’s tourism businesses and local residents for cutting back on water usage and educating guests about responsible water consumption. He encouraged more establishments to implement water-saving measures such as removing bath plugs, installing water restrictors on shower heads, reducing laundry loads and using paper towels instead of hand towels.

The City of Cape Town has advised residents, businesses and tourists to save and recycle water through the following measures:

  • Take two-minute showers instead of water-heavy baths;
  • Collect shower and basin water and use it to flush toilets, wash cars and water the garden;
  • Flush toilets only when necessary;
  • Do not run the tap while shaving, brushing teeth or washing hands;
  • Wait until you have a full load before running your washing machine;
  • Fix any water leaks (including dripping taps) on your property.

“I would like to issue a special appeal to all tourists, businesses and local residents to embrace the principle of responsible tourism. These are practices that have a minimal negative impact on society and the environment so that we can all enjoy our country responsibly this festive season,” said Ntshona.

South African Tourism would like to echo the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s call to ‘travel, enjoy and respect’ which is about contributing to sustainable tourism and making the sector a catalyst for positive change.

Residents and visitors in the City of Cape Town are currently restricted to using 87 litres of treated water per person, per day, for drinking, washing and cooking. Tips on how to use greywater efficiently are available on the City of Cape Town’s website. Calculate your daily water usage by using the City of Cape Town’s Water Calculator.

Read more on this topic: Western Cape Water-Wise Hospitality Research