The Water Wise Guide to Visiting Cape Town

For some time now, Cape Town residents have grappled with the spectre of Day Zero – the day on which the regular flow of water will be cut by the city, in an effort to deal with the severe drought that is still underway.

Happily, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019, largely through the water conservation efforts of the citizens.

While this means we’re in the clear for now, the fact remains that we’re unlikely to see the end of the drought any time soon.

With that in mind, here are water tips for tourists thinking of visiting Cape Town, starting with a particularly important one:

Held over two days, the Festival offers a number of events for attendees. Over forty artists performing at multiple venues makes this a true smorgasbord for music lovers.

Should the responsible tourist even come to Cape Town?

You’ll likely be happy to hear that we’d love to see you in Cape Town – tourism is a major industry in the city, so you’ll actually be helping.

As long as you stick to keeping your water usage down, you’ll have no real impact on the situation.

All major events and attractions are still in place, just a little more careful about how they use water – this extends to restaurants, who’ve taken the extra steps of only offering bottled water in most establishments.

Choose water wise accommodation

Coming to Cape Town during the drought will, unfortunately, require a little extra research if you want to be water wise.

Many of those offering accommodation have implemented strategies to save water – but not all.

That means you should contact any accommodation you’re considering before you book, to ask what strategies they have in place. Choosing a water wise accommodation option will not only help Cape Town, it will help you stay water wise while you’re here.

Monitor your usage

The current water restrictions call on residents to use less than 50 liters of water daily.

Doing so isn’t actually too hard; it just means sticking to some simple rules:

  • Re-use towels at your accommodation instead of asking for new ones

  • Flush less. Each flush uses between six and twelve litres of water – basically, if it’s yellow, let it mellow

  • Don’t bath, and keep showers to under 90 seconds

  • Don’t let taps run – this applies to everything from washing dishes to brushing your teeth

  • Report leaks as soon as you notice them

Following these rules will help keep your water usage down, and help Cape Town stave off Day Zero.

And the nice thing about these little tips is they don’t need to affect the rest of your stay: you’ll still be able to hire a car and go see Cape Point, or climb Table Mountain.

Just because Cape Town’s a bit dry at the moment doesn’t mean we don’t want to see you.