Tool tracks water usage by suburb in Cape Town

December 12, 2017. People queue where they fill up their water bottles at Muizenberg spring in Cape Town. Picture: Esa Alexander

Is your suburb meeting water usage targets in Cape Town?

An interactive data visualisation tool using the latest available water consumption data has gone live to show where water is going in the city‚ which has strict water restrictions in place.

The tool was launched on Monday by Eighty20‚ a company that works with and analyses data.

“ Our aim for 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‚” the company said on Monday.

The tracker uses median data of household water usage from December 2017 and compares it against the December target of 10.5Kl per household (assuming 4 people per household at 87.5l per day). The tracker will be updated as new data becomes available.

“The visualisation reveals that high-income areas with larger estates‚ such as Bishopscourt‚ Clifton‚ Camps Bay and Fresnaye tended to use more water‚ and were exceeding targets‚ despite having decreased their water usage dramatically from the beginning of 2017‚” said Eighty20.

“Conversely‚ lower income areas along the N1 near the airport tended 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.”

Suburbs with the best reduction in water consumption for December were Tamboerskloof‚ Meadowridge and Greenville Garden City.

The tool also provides up-to-date dam-level data that shows the declining trend in Cape Town’s dam capacity since 2012.

Try it here:

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