Saldanha Bay Municipality

Water Restrictions

Reduce water usage to less than 50 litres each day

Release of water to Misverstand Dam for West Coast Region

Due to the worsening drought conditions and increasingly depleted water sources, the Saldanha Bay Municipality engaged with the National Parliament and the Department of Water and Sanitation regarding the release of water from the Berg River Dam.

The Department will release up to 5 Million cubic metres of water between 17 and 20 April 2018 to the Misverstand Dam to ensure that water provision to the Integrated Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS), which supplies the West Coast’s Saldanha Bay, Bergrivier and Swartland municipalities, is secured.

Without the approved release, Saldanha Bay Municipality would have run out of water by 24 April 2018. Had we reached this stage, the municipality would have decreased the water pressure on the system to provide adequate supply to the region. In order to avoid this, the Municipality and the Department of the Premier worked tirelessly towards the release of water to the Misverstand Dam.

The Municipality is also busy negotiating the feasibility of developing a 10 ML per day desalination plant. This plant, including the pipeline and connection cost, will be funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The development may include a bigger pipeline that will cater for a bigger than 10 ML per day desalination plant. This is part of Saldanha Bay Municipality’s long-term water plan that will provide comfort to residents, industrial investors and the tourism industry.

With an ever-changing water provision scenario, the Saldanha Bay Municipality has the water situation under control. However, it could deteriorate if we do not receive adequate rainfall this winter. Residents can expect a more aggressive Saldanha Bay Municipality water demand initiative programme.  Saldanha Bay can improve on its initiatives to reduce residential and industrial water demand. Such initiatives will inter alia include the installation of restrictors and penalties for the water usage exceeding 6 kilolitres of water per household, per month.

Despite several requests to residents to be more prudent in water consumption, there are still water consumers not adhering to the restrictions. The Saldanha Bay Municipality urges all residents and businesses to change their water consuming behaviour to ensure the sustainability of water resources within the region. If we do not further reduce consumption, there is a very strong probability that the region will run out of water.


13 Water Saving Tips for the Food Industry

Notice on Boreholes within the Saldanha Bay Municipal area

Saldanha Bay Municipality, as per promulgated By-Law’s relating to Water and Sanitation services, herby issues this public notice effective on 15 February 2018 on all owners or occupiers of any premises within our area of jurisdiction.

  • All existing boreholes must be registered with Saldanha Bay Municipality. Application website:   
  • Any person who intends to sink a borehole on their premises must notify Saldanha Bay Municipality before the work commences.
  • Saldanha Bay Municipality may require the owner or occupier to undertake an environmental impact assessment before sinking the borehole.
  • Boreholes are subjected to all requirements of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998).
  • Water supply from a borehole may under no circumstances be connected to a water installation which is connected to the water supply system of the municipality.
  • The owner or occupier of premises on which water supply from a borehole is used for human consumption, must ensure that the water quality complies with SANS0241 standards at all times.
  • For the full By-Law please visit   

Further to Saldanha Bay Municipalities By-Laws, the following Notice as published in Government Gazette number 41381 on 12 January 2018 must be adhered to.

  • A 45% curtailment (water saving) on the abstraction of ground water (boreholes and well points) must be reached. The Baseline from which the 45% curtailment must be measured is the water user’s average 5 year demand from 2010/11 until 2014/15.
  • Borehole and well points must also be equipped with electronic water recording devices (meters). Recordings of water usage must be submitted to the Department of Water and Sanitation weekly by Monday 12:00 to

In terms of the NATIONAL WATER ACT, 1998 (ACT 36 OF 1998), a person may only use groundwater permissibly (Sect 22(1) of NWA, 1998) as follows:

  1. Schedule 1 use:

This use only applies to a consumer who is not connected to the water distribution network of the Municipality. If a person lawfully owns/occupies a property where no other water services exists, he/she may take water for personal use such as for general domestic water usage, water for small gardening (not commercial) and watering of animals (excluding feedlots), on the condition that he/she has lawful access to the resource, the use is not excessive in relation to the capacity of the water resource and the needs of other lawful water users.

  1. Existing Lawful Use (ELU):

This is only applicable to boreholes that were operational before 1995. There was a window period from 1995 – 1999 where users could declare their boreholes with Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) at no cost.

  1. General Authorisation (GA):

A GA is issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and can be downloaded from the Department’s website ( The GA is applicable if the water use is not excessive in relation to the capacity of the water resource and the needs of other lawful water users.

The groundwater GA is set per quaternary catchment. Saldanha Bay is within catchment G10M and this use has a maximum limit of 150 Kl/ha/annum. For a property of 1000m², the owner will only be able to abstract 15 kl/year. This can only be abstracted after the GA has been issued by DWS.

It is important to know that in terms of the General Authorisation, for taking water from a water resource, no water may be taken within a:

  • 500 metre radius of boundary of a wetland, pan or estuary;
  • 100 metre radius of boundary of a watercourse or state dam;
  • 500 metre radius of state dam wall;
  • 500 metre high-water mark of the ocean without a Water Use Licenced issued by DWS.
  • One should also give effect to conditions of Groundwater Control area.

If the above conditions could not be met, water use should stop immediately and the water users should apply through a Water Use Licence (WULA) for permission. If a person abstracts at a rate of more than 1L/sec, he/she must apply for permission through a Water Use Licence Application before they can continue engaging in that water use activity.

  1. WULA (Water use license application):

Water Use Licences are issued under the Act and require approval by the Department of Water and Sanitation. This is required if the groundwater abstraction is intended to be higher than the GA. Intensive studies and a lengthy application procedure is necessary for a WULA. 


Subterranean Government Groundwater Control Areas:

No drilling may commence within such an area unless prior permission is obtained from the Department of Water and Sanitation.  The proposed groundwater use will have to be authorised by the Department of Water and Sanitation, irrespective of the amount to be abstracted. The red zone (in the image below) comprises such an area in our municipal area:



Due to the current water crisis having intensified, the Council has decided that all construction projects, including the building of houses, may only be conducted with non-potable water.

Alternative (non-drinking) water sources for construction sites include the following:

  1. Treated effluent:
  1. Preference will be given to industry, bulk construction and build projects for the use of treated effluent.
  2. To obtain treated effluent, please complete the application form available on the municipal website:
  3. Useful for compaction, cleaning of tools and dust control.
  4. Not suitable for use in concrete.
  1. Sea water:

May be used for concrete without reinforcement or other embedded metal (do not use seawater where steel is involved, to avoid corrosion). 

  1. Rain water harvesting:

Arrange with shopping centres or buildings with large roof surfaces for setting up water tanks and collecting rain water for future use / next rainy season.

  1. Borehole water:

Make sure you obtain borehole water from a credible source. The person selling the borehole water must be registered with the Department of Water and Sanitation to legally abstract and sell ground water.

MEDIA RELEASE: Municipality implements interventions to extend available water supply
16 March 2018

Saldanha Bay Municipality has reached substantial savings on the water demand from the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) through ongoing demand management initiatives and the commissioning of the existing Langebaan Road Aquifer boreholes.  But even with the reduced current demand, the available water sources is inadequate to last until the winter rainfall or the commissioning of alternate water sources.

The WCWSS is under severe stress and further intervention is thus of utmost importance to reduce the demand and to prolong the available capacity of water within the water sources. Additional savings will have to be achieved to ensure that a basic level of water services can be provided to residents of the Saldanha Bay Municipal area.

The Municipality identified specific interventions, which will assist in lowering the water demand and extending the available water supply to the Saldanha Bay Municipal area. Council approved the following recommendations at a Special Council Meeting held in Vredenburg on 15 March 2018:

  • The installation of 6kl/month water restrictors at all indigent households.
  • Restriction of all formal and informal car washes to only non-potable water.
  • All water shops are only allowed to sell water sourced from outside the Saldanha Bay Municipal area of jurisdiction. No potable water from Saldanha Bay Municipality may be used.
  • All events must prove that they are water neutral and must submit a water plan to the Municipality before any approval to host the event will be considered.
  • All municipal resorts occupancy be limited to 50% compared to the same month of the previous year.
  • That in addition to Level 6B water restrictions, all residential properties be restricted to a maximum consumption of 200 litres per day or 6kl per month based on the occupancy of 4 individuals. If households have more than 4 occupants, a formal Level 6B exemption application must be submitted with a sworn affidavit and copies of identity cards of occupants for consideration.
  • The following penalties will be implemented with effect from the services accounts rendered to consumers during April 2018 for payment 15 May 2018, should the restrictions contained above not be adhered to:
  1. First transgression after warning: R1000 fine
  2. Second transgression after a warning: R2000 fine
  3. After the third transgression, the installation of 6kl/month water restrictors to control water consumption. 
  • All construction projects including the building of houses may only be conducted with non-potable water.
  • Preference will be given to industry, bulk construction and building projects for the use of effluent water.


Saldanha Bay Municipality is aware of recent reports relating to the alleged termination of water releases into the municipal area by the National Department of Water and Sanitation. Please be advised that no decision has been taken in this regard. 

Residents and businesses are encouraged to register onto the Municipal SMS database to receive messages related to water restrictions in the municipal area. To register onto the SMS database, forward your cellphone number with your residential address to

Register on SMS Database for updates on Water Restrictions

Register your cell phone number or update your personal details on the municipal SMS database to receive messages related to Saldanha Bay Municipality’s water restrictions, emergency situations (floods, fires, power outages and pipe bursts), notices and announcements.

Submit your completed SMS database registration form to any Saldanha Bay Municipal office. You can also fax your completed form to (022) 715 1518 or submit via email to here for an electronic copy of the registration form.

Saldanha Bay Municipality implements Level 6B Water Restrictions

Saldanha Bay Municipality has approved level 6B water restrictions, effective from 1 February 2018 until further notice. All water users are required to immediately use less water and must attempt to use less than 50 litres of water per person, per day

Level 5 water restriction tariffs are still applicable.

Click here for an electronic copy of the approved level 6 water restrictions.

Click here for tips on how to use less than 50 litres of water per person, per day.

Click here for an electronic copy of the Level  6B water restrictions table.

Click here for Level 5 water restrictions tariffs, effective from 22 November 2017.

Top ways to save water indoors

You can help keep saving water by implementing key indoor actions, both at home and at work.
Click here for tips on the top ways you can save water indoors.
Water is a shared resource. Don’t use more than your share.

Eight ways to save water at home

Saving water is everyone’s responsibility. Do you know how much water you use at home?

  • Click here for eight ways to save water at home and to find out how the community can assist the municipality in saving water.
  • Water is a scarce source and should be used with care. Click here to see how we can reduce our water footprint by changing our habits.
  • Do you know your current water consumption? Click here for more information on the average consumption of water at home.
  • How to save water in your home.
  • You consume more water than you realise. Click here for the top tips in reducing your water footprint.
  • Water saving starts with you! Click here for more water saving tips.

Saldanha Bay Municipality, saving water one drop at a time.


H2O heroes guide to saving water

When it comes to saving water, there are so many small things we can do every day in our own homes, gardens, work and neighbourhoods that will make a big difference. Using grey water for gardens or having really short showers is a lifestyle adjustment, but it’s an important one if we want to ensure that we’ll still have water to drink, cook with and enjoy in the future.

You can be an H2O Hero too. Find out how at for more information.

Click on the links below to meet some of the Western Cape Government’s Water Heroes:

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