#CapeWaterCrisis: New water tool tracks usage by suburbs in Cape Town

2018-02-20 12:39 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Picture: iStock

Cape Town - Wondering how the water-saving efforts are going in your suburb? Well, look no further...

Recently, Eighty20, a company that works with and analyses data, launched an interactive visualisation tool using the latest available water consumption information to show where water is being used in the city.

The tool was launched on Monday, 19 February, and according to Eighty20, the Water Tracker is to provide a platform that "educates and informs people about the current water crisis by providing access to data that has‚ to date‚ not been provided in a suburb-level view".

"Our hope is that the Water Tracker helps facilitate fact-based discussions and ultimately makes people more aware about the current crisis and nudges their behaviour towards greater water savings,” says Eight20.

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The Water Tracker, similar to the City of Cape Town's water map, uses median (average) data of household water usage from December 2017 and compares it against the December target of 10.5 kilolitres per household. 

The tool also provides up-to-date dam-level data that shows the declining trend in Cape Town’s dam capacity.

The tracker will be updated as new data becomes available.

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The visualisation reveals high-income areas with larger estates‚ such as Bishopscourt‚ Clifton‚ Camps Bay and Fresnaye. 

According to Eighty20, these areas tend to use more water‚ and were exceeding targets‚ despite having decreased their water usage dramatically from the beginning of 2017.

Eightt20 says lower-income areas along the N1 near the airport tend to have high water usage‚ including Manenberg and Gugulethu, however, as data only includes free-standing houses‚ it doesn’t correctly account usage in informal housing. 

"This means that the formal free-standing households were exceeding their water usage targets‚ but information about informal households is inaccessible.

“Suburbs that reliably used far below target are those on the Cape Peninsula‚ including Muizenberg‚ Kalk Bay‚ Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town‚ as well as Kommetjie and Scarborough. Certain suburbs near the CBD are also below target‚ including Vredehoek and Tamboerskloof. The southern suburbs along Victoria Road‚ stretching from Observatory to Diep River‚ also tend to keep water usage below target at a moderate level,” says Eighty20.

Suburbs with the best reduction in water consumption for December include ObservatoryTamboerskloof and Vredehoek

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