Three city golf courses that still use drinking water from the
municipal water system to irrigate their fairways are being asked by
the City of Cape Town to make immediate alternative plans.

the other 15 courses, which use mainly treated sewerage effluent from
the city's wastewater treatment plants or non-municipal water sources,
have won praise from the authorities.

In terms of the water
restrictions introduced in October, golf courses may use drinking water
only on their greens, unless they have been granted special exemptions.

other moves to reduce water consumption in the metropolitan areas as
the city's water supply storage dam levels have dropped to an alarming
46.2%, the City is to bring private borehole users into line by
insisting that they also observe the "no watering between 10am and 6pm"

At present, borehole users are not subject to any restrictions.

following numerous complaints, all freshwater showers at the city's
beaches are to be switched off with immediate effect, except at the
"Blue Flag" beaches where showers are one of the requirements for
maintaining that certification.

Clifton and Mnandi Beach are full
Blue Flag beaches, while Muizenberg, Strandfontein, Camps Bay and
Bikini Beach (Gordon's Bay) have pilot status this year.

At these beaches, showers will be fitted with reduced pressure, "low flow" showerheads with a 15-second timer.

in a fourth move to reduce water demand, the City is to send out a
fresh appeal for co-operation to conserve water to all industries and
commercial businesses.

These new measures were decided at a
council meeting yesterday, executive councillor for trading services
Saleem Mowzer confirmed, and follow the announcement that Cape Town had
only achieved 66% of its targeted water savings during December.

Explaining the motivation for the new measures, Mowzer said the dam levels were dropping rapidly.

"And with February, the hottest month, still ahead of us, we felt that we needed to reinforce the (water conservation) message."
said many concerned individuals and organisations had written to him
about the issue of golf courses using significant amounts of water, and
he had ordered a thorough investigation.

"The outcome of that
investigation clearly shows that golf courses have taken measures and
that most of them are using treated effluent from wastewater plants."

These courses were Steenberg, Westlake, King David, Parow, Strand, Atlantic Beach, Milnerton and Durbanville.

and Mowbray used water from the Black River as well as effluent from
the Athlone and Borcherds Quarry wastewater plants.

Simon's Town
golf course used mountain run-off which it stored in dams; Clovelly
used boreholes; Kuils River used a mix of river water and treated
effluent; and Erinvale (Somerset West) used borehole water.

The Old Mutual Golf Club at New Pine had installed boreholes which became effective this week.

"The only golf course in the city which uses only potable water is the Metropolitan at Green Point," he said.

is no treated effluent they can use, and I have asked the city manager
to write to them and ask them to look at the installation of boreholes.

"But I'm aware of their proximity to the sea and that salinity could be a problem.

"There is also the possibility of their using a desalination plant which would use seawater."

There were two courses which used potable water as "back-up", Mowzer added.

were Royal Cape, which used close to 90% dam water and between 10% and
15% of municipal water, and Bellville, which had two boreholes feeding
a dam, although one borehole was not in use.

No treated effluent was available to either of these courses.

took a decision this morning that we will write to these three courses
indicating that they need to make an immediate plan to use non-potable
water for irrigation," he said.

"The vast majority of golf courses are using treated water and they need to be commended for that.

the use of treated effluent is the way to go, and we are looking at
this for use on all our sportsfields – it just makes sense."