Cape Town Water Restrictions-Affects on Automotive Industry

Cape Town Water Restrictions-Affects on Automotive Industry

As a Capetonian I am naturally concerned about water restrictions in my home city and it’s effects on out Automotive Industry, as it affects me, being an Auto mechanic.

Here is a report I compiled with a little research.


Want to know more about Cape Town’s water shortages?


Water Restrictions in Cape Town.

How serious is the water shortage in Cape Town and how does it affect the Automotive Industry?

Theewaterskloof Dam At 35% Capacity
Theewaterskloof Dam At 35% Capacity

As of 21st February 2017, the water levels in our Major Reservoirs and Dams, like Upper Steenbras, Lower Steenbras, Theewaterskloof, Wemmershoek and Voelvlei Dams,  here in the Western Cape and Cape Town, were down to 129 days of water left, at the current water usage rate. Update July 2017

I think that is Pretty Serious.

Considering that it equates to approximately 4 months of Consumable Water. Our surrounding Dams and Reservoirs are at an all time low of 37%, and the last 10% is unusable for Human Consumption.

How are we affected by this? In The Automotive Industry.

In the Automotive Industry, water is an element that is essential in the majority of modern cars, except air cooled vehicles which are mostly not in use in modern times (Remember The Beatles) ……………….no not the Band, man !!!

Water is the main reason a Car does not overheat.

How Water Flows In A Car Engine
How Water Flows In A Car Engine

Water circulates around the engine in water jackets, transferring heat to a cooling radiator, which in turn is cooled by a fan, the cooled water then repeats this process through circulation.

The heat is caused by internal moving parts, (pistons, crank and rockers), which create friction, which in turn produces heat.

(Rub your hands together continuously to get the idea)

Overheating an internal combustion engine results in catastrophic damage, from burst radiator hoses, blown cylinder head gaskets to seized engines. (Costly)

If your vehicle’s water has to be topped up periodically, there is a problem with the cooling system. A correctly functioning system does not hemerage water, check for signs where your vehicle stands, wet spots, but do not confuse it with water that condensates on your  A/C pipes.(clear water).

Water from your cooling system will be a rusty brown colour (no antifreeze) or a green, blue or reddish colour( treated with antifreeze). If you cannot determine the leak, consult your Auto Mechanic to do a cooling system and radiator cap pressure test to determine the location and/or cause of the leak.

In so doing we will contribute to the saving of water in our Region.


Vehicle Dealerships.

A New Car On Show
A New Car On Show

Water is used to wash vehicles, cleaning it to looking enticing to prospective buyers, showrooms at dealerships have to maintain, clean shiny vehicles to attract the prospective customer.


Would you buy a vehicle off the showroom floor that looks grubby and dirty?

 Private Vehicles.

Washing Cars Is A No No
Washing Cars Is A No No

The use of water for cleaning our private vehicles is frowned upon during the water restrictions imposed in our region at this time, and comes with huge monetary penalties.

During these times the majority of the local populace do not clean their vehicles too often, for obvious reasons.


Would you risk a hefty fine for a clean Car?


Waterless Vehicle Cleaning Systems.

Water less Car Wash Systems
Water less Car Wash Systems

Although there are many waterless cleaning systems on the market, they are mostly experimental or largely ineffective, it is imported from other countries at high cost which does not make it worth purchasing. It is essentially water based anyway.


Doing Your Part.

So if you live in the Western Cape,

  • Check your taps and water pipes for leaks
  • Take shorter showers
  • Water your gardens less, (unless you have Bore Hole water)
  • Do not wash your vehicle as often or use less water to do so
  • Generally conserve water whenever and wherever you can
Do your part to conserve this precious resource.


Our weather patterns are blamed on a conditioned called El Nino, an irregular occurring and complex series of climatic changes, causing drought conditions in some regions across the Globe.

If no rains are experienced in the next few weeks, drastic action such as Trucking or Piping water in from neighbouring Provinces has to be taken, I can only imagine the cost awarded to these methods. I feel that the rains will come with time, will it be too little too late?.

So Pray, Rain Dance and Hope that the Heavens will open for us here in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

What are your thoughts and ideas on saving water?

Please leave a COMMENT or QUESTION, I will reply ASAP.

I am at your service if there is anything I can help you with.

Drop in on My profile page

Until Next Time “Safe Motoring” – Gary

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Gary De La Cruz

I have been 30+ years in the motor industry, still hands on, and have great passion for my chosen profession, I learn new things each day and believe that "if you enjoy your work, you never have to work a day in your life"I believe in honesty, integrity and helping where help is needed.

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