Department of Water to tackle drought crisis in Western Cape

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The Water and Sanitation Department says it will send officials to the Western Cape within the next two weeks to assist with water conservation and enforcement as the province grapples with its worst drought in over a century.

Level six water restrictions came into effect on January 1, requiring agricultural users to reduce their consumption by 60%.

Department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, says a meeting with farmers’ interest group, AgriSA, took place in the past week to discuss the crisis.

Ratau says the agricultural sector is an integral part of the country’s economy.

“The department is enhancing the capacity of the enforcement unit in the Western Cape by bringing in other members of staff from other provinces so that we can carry out the enforcement duties that will allow us to make sure everyone that is a water user is performing within the restrictions that have been gazetted.”

Ratau says they will do all to ensure the drought in the Western Cape does not lead to Day Zero.

“Obviously, because the discussion was with the agricultural sector, there is going to be a particular emphasis on the agricultural sector based on the fact that isn’t still the highest user of our water resources, but also a very important part of the economy.”