Restrictions for boreholes too

The City of Cape Town has asked residents using boreholes and well-points to do so “sparingly”, as groundwater is not an unlimited resource.

In a statement last week, the City said water restrictions, now at Level 3B, had prompted many to install either boreholes or well-points, but groundwater, it warned, could be depleted if extracted too quickly.

“The uptake of boreholes and well-points is very useful in taking pressure off our dams at a time when they are reaching dangerously low levels. However, it is important that we utilise it responsibly,” said Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy.

The City wants residents with boreholes to restrict their watering to hours prescribed in the restrictions (before 9am or after 6pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays for a maximum of one hour a day), or, at the very least, limit it to the early mornings and late evenings to avoid evaporation.

The City would lobby national government, custodian of water resources, to more tightly regulate the resource, said Ms Limberg.

Residents need to apply to sink a new borehole or well-point at least 14 days before it is installed. Information on how to apply can be found at:

Once installed, boreholes need to be registered. Information on how to register can be found at:

“Application and registration of boreholes help us gather information for environmental monitoring and research purposes and is not in place so that residents can be charged. Water use from boreholes and wells remains free. As a thank you, the City will send applicants and those who register their boreholes a certificate of appreciation and a free weather-proof display sign,” said Ms Limberg.