The water at Kirstenbosch is not supplied by the City of Cape Town.
Non-potable irrigation water
The Garden is irrigated by non-potable water from a 110 megalitre dam situated on the mountain slopes to the south of the Garden. Water comes from surface runoff and streams in Window Gorge and Nursery Ravine. Most water is collected during the winter rainy season.
Drinking water from the Table Mountain Aquifer
All drinking water at Kirstenbosch is sustainably extracted from boreholes on the Estate that tap into the Table Mountain Aquifer, 60 m below ground level. The water is stored in reservoirs where it is sanitized with Ozone to control randomly occurring biological activity. No Chlorine or other chemicals are used. This water is tested quarterly and is of such high quality that it is good enough to be bottled. Drinking water is supplied to all bathroom taps and to numerous water fountains throughout the Garden.
Irrigating the Garden
The irrigation system is run by computer and garden sections are irrigated after 16h00 and before 09h00. Occasionally, such as when dealing with dry spots or new plantings, some supplementary watering may be done in the day.
Saving water at Kirstenbosch
Our water supply is limited and it is always a challenge to make the water last through the summer. Staff are trained to conserve water and use it wisely, at all times. During exceptionally dry years additional water-saving measures, such as reducing the amount of time that the sprinklers run, are implemented.
Numerous potable water-saving devices, such as waterless urinals, multiflush toilets and low-flow showerheads, are used at Kirstenbosch.