Franschhoek still welcomes visitors in spite of the current drought, with tourists flocking to the valley ready to discover all that it has to offer. However, as beautiful as the region is, the Western Cape of which we’re part of, is experiencing a significant drought. As of 1 February the Stellenbosch Municipality will implement Level 6 water restrictions. Residents and visitors will be restricted to 87 litres of water per person per day until further notice. The City of Cape Town has moved to level 6B and is restricting their residents to 50 litres per day. Stellenbosch Municipality may decide to increase restrictions to level 6B at a later date.
The below average rainfall over a number of years has forced everyone to rethink their water usage behaviors. Responsible consumption of water is the new normal. Some parts of the tourism and hospitality industry have proactively adjusted how they utilize water to reduce their consumption – giving guests peace of mind that every drop counts.
Herewith some frequently asked questions to address any concerns you may have:
If tourists visit Franschhoek will there be enough water?
There is adequate water for tourists and residents’ essential daily needs such as washing, using the toilet, and other daily hygiene. At present water restrictions are in place in the Franschhoek Wine Valley and surrounds, and residents and tourists are requested to adhere to them.
Will tourists be able to bath, shower or use a swimming pool?
At present, tourists and residents will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Mandated guidelines suggest a shower of no longer than two minutes. The use of baths is entirely discouraged. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water. The majority of tourism establishments have put in place measures to ensure their water usage is reduced, and many have developed plans for alternative supplies.
Will restaurants and bars still be in operation?
Many parts of the hospitality industry have proactively implemented water savings and water augmentation solutions to ensure ongoing availability of water in their establishments. Restaurants and bars are not currently negatively influenced but must still comply with water restrictions.
Are emergency services still able to function effectively?
Yes. All critical emergency services (hospitals, clinics, police services) will continue to function.
We urge all residents and businesses to give their full cooperation in helping to save the precious resource. Cooperation is critical, and every person must take up the challenge to save and recycle water wherever possible. Water will remain very scarce and there will be no room for any waste or exceeding the water restrictions.
Let us join hands and together face this difficult situation. Working together we can overcome this challenge.