Businesses in Cape Town are taking steps to reduce their water consumption ahead of the City’s Level 4 water restrictions, which are due to be implemented next month.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront this week announced the closure of its swimming pool until further notice, as usable dam water levels in the province fell to 11.2 percent this week.

The hotel’s general manager, Debra Sivertsen, said the hotel would reopen the pool only if the water situation improved.

“We believe local and international guests will understand, as we are facing a drastic situation in Cape Town,” Sivertsen said. “This is a critical time for water in this city, and we would ask that all guests at the hotel help us to help Cape Town.”

The proposed Level 4 water restrictions do not permit swimming pools to be topped up, either manually or automatically.

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said it was imperative that the hospitality sector played a role in conserving water.

“We trust that our visitors will respect that these efforts are made to ensure the long-term continued enjoyment of Cape Town as a world-class destination.”

AB InBev Africa, which is among the biggest water users in the province, said municipal water accounted for only 1 percent of the water used at its Newlands Brewery.

Communications director Robyn Chalmers said the brewery would continue to reduce its water consumption every year.

She said the brewery’s water usage stood at 2.74litres per litre of beer, compared with 3.52litres per litre in 2012.

“This represents a 25 percent reduction in the water we use for our facilities, processing and cleaning use over four years on a sustainable basis,” Chalmers said.

On Monday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille declared the province a disaster area as dam levels slumped to 20.7 percent, down 0.7 percent from a week ago. The last 10 percent of a dam’s water is mostly unusable because of mud, weeds and debris.

John Schooling, managing director of Construction and energy group STAG African, said the drought has spurred local industries to rethink how it conducted business.

“As the cost of using this valuable resource goes up, businesses that rely on it are forced to adapt their strategies to become more water-wise,” Schooling said.

“Heavy water usage used to be a key component of construction, but green building technologies have freed us from much of our reliance on it. Adopting new technologies is quickly becoming the most affordable way to build.”