South Africa is experiencing the worst drought since 1983. The water crisis facing Gauteng is no longer something we read about, it’s now something we feel. More and more areas have experience water outages as a result of empty reservoirs. Water levels of the Vaal Dam have been dropping 1% weekly, currently sitting on 26.5%. If they go below 25% the system may collapse which means your taps will literally run dry.


Johannesburg Water’s Twitter account @JHBWater is customer service goals with up-to-date information on water outages, shortages and tips and a knack for responding to all queries.


A scroll down their feed will answer all your water crisis question, so behold your guide to the Water Crisis as told in Tweets


Water Restrictions ? Water Shedding


If Eskom could do load shedding when they couldn’t keep up with the demand for electricity, Johannesburg water must be doing the same thing.



Not exactly. Water outages are happening when reservoirs run empty. So if the reservoir servicing your neighbourhood runs empty you’re not going to get any water because there is no water.

This means that unlike Eskom who started scheduling outages, they cannot schedule outages. They do warn neighbourhoods when reservoirs are running low to reduce consumption to avoid restrictions and outages.




It’s a quantity of water, not size of reservoir issue

It’s the amount of water not the size of the reservoir that’s to blame. A drought means no rain, no rain means no water, no water means reservoirs can’t be filled up which means no water to supply your taps with.

Johannesburg Water supplies potable water but they do not keep water for more than 48 hours to keep the quality of the water.



What Can You do?


Cut back on water usage. Johannesburg water wants us to cut back on our water consumption by 15% to avoid shortages. This means no long showers, closing your taps properly, learning the art of rain harvesting (collecting rain water to use to water your garden, wash cars, flush toilets) and turning off your sprinklers. On the bright size less water usage = smaller water bills.



A Green Lawn isn’t going to Feed you or Keep you Clean

Johannesburg water reports that 40% of potable water is being used in gardening. They have not completely banned watering of gardens though. You are allowed to water your gardens with a bucket between 6pm and 6am. Brownie points if it’s with water you harvested from rain. Oh and people have started reporting people and businesses who are watering lawns. You may want to avoid becoming a victim of the age of social media tattletale snaps.




Necessity is the mother of invention

People are snapping and sharing how they’re saving water. Most involve collecting shower and rain water in buckets to be used for activities that don’t require sterile water. One crafty person is using creepy crawly pipes to connect his gutter to the pool to fill it up.




In 2015, the City of Johannesburg suggested group showers. These still have not taken off. Can’t imagine why


Switch of your geysers

If you do have a water outage, it can damage your geyser as your water supply runs dry. There’s nothing Johannesburg Water can do about it and are warning people to switch them off when you’re not at home and if you have an outage.


Johannesburg Water ? Weather gods

In shocking moment of discovery, Johanessburg water revealed that they do not in fact have a “Make it Rain” switch.


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