Water Restrictions FAQs

What has SSISA done to reduce water consumption?

For the past 12 months we have introduced a number of interventions to improve our water efficiency. This has resulted in a 15% reduction in water consumption over 12 months. Interventions include:

  • Lo flow shower heads.
  • Restrictors on our showers and basins. Reducing the flow of the showers from 8kl/h to 5.8 kl/h (super low flow) and the basins to 1kl/h.
  • Waterless urinals
  • Hand sanitizers in the bathrooms.
  • Various awareness campaigns using posters, emails, digital media. Encouraging members to limit shower time to 2 minutes has been particularly successful.
Should SSISA really be aiming to reduce consumption any further since services rely on water?

Any facility that is not considered a “critical services facility” is mandated to reduce water consumption in this time of crisis. Businesses have been set a target of 20% (year on year reduction) and this will increase to 45% from January 2018. The step-down hospital on the 5th floor have applied for exemption and SSISA is investigating applying for lenience given the health services administered in the building.

Which areas use the most water in SSISA?

We have installed water meters at various points in the building. The waste (showers and toilets) use the most amount of water. The next highest individual source is the swimming pool, although it only accounts for 1/30th (a day’s worth) of SSISA’s monthly water consumption.

What is SSISA’s average daily consumption and what do we need to aim for?

SSISA have reduced average daily consumption from 46kl to 40kl over the last 12months.
With Level 6 water restrictions coming into effect on 1st January 2018 all commercial buildings need reduce their water consumption by 45% compared to pre-drought usage i.e 2015

Now SSISA is tampering with shower times. Are these efforts really decreasing the overall water consumption of the City of Cape Town?

Everyone must play their part, and SSISA is no exception. The cumulative effect of our combined efforts will most certainly make a difference. We understand this is frustrating and may be inconvenient. We are exploring different strategies and monitoring the impact of each to try find the best solution for our facility and members. We ask for your patience as we undergo this process. The showers are indeed one of the highest consumption areas and, as such, we must be proactive in addressing this.

  • SSISA have encouraged members to limit shower time to 2 minutes. In January 2018, the City has encouraged the public to further reduce this to 90seconds. Up for the challenge? Use the Wet (water on), Lather (water off), Rinse (water on) method – it works!
  • In week 1, we piloted a process of turning off showers at 09h00 daily. We monitored water consumption and gym traffic and were able to reduce our consumption by a further 12% i.e. achieving a 27% decrease compared to December 2016
  • In week 2, we will pilot keeping some showers open until 15h30 but limiting total usable showers to 3 showers. In this way, members attending gym throughout the day can access showers. We ask those coming in from 15h30 to please shower at home. We will monitor weekly and monitor the impact on water consumption and customer service.
Why hasn’t SSISA installed water saving shower heads that intermittently switch off?

There are significant cost implications to doing this and we do not believe this would significantly reduce water consumption as many members have been compliant with 2 minute shower and are proactively encouraging members who aren’t doing so to try harder. Now that a Borehole has been approved, it is a better long-term solution than the water saving shower heads.

What is the long-term solution regarding shower restrictions and water supply to the building?

A borehole and filtration plant is being installed within the first quarter of 2018. This will enable SSISA to go off the grid and supply its own water to the building.

Why doesn't SSISA consult or has SSISA consulted with an external strategist about the best way forward?

SSISA has indeed spent many months with consultants discussing the best way forward. It is with their input that we have implemented the various strategies and have now decided to acquire a borehole.

Why are we only getting a borehole in the first quarter of 2018? Was is not short sighted to wait this long?
  • This has been in discussions for a large part of the year. We have consulted with companies in the Newlands precinct and explored options including sharing boreholes. Our complex plumbing system and water quality requirements means that this is not an option and also means that a borehole (and filtration system) for SSISA will cost close to R1 million. As SSISA is a Not-for-profit company, we first needed to aggressively explore and monitor the impact of cost effective solutions as an alternative to a borehole. Only once we demonstrated this was not enough, could we justify the cost of a borehole.
  • The borehole needs to be registered with the City of Cape Town and a water license is required to be permitted to take out more than required on a daily basis. The daily amount that can be used from a borehole is 10kl/day and SSISA’s daily consumption is 40kl/day.