According to all indications, South Africa has, or is heading for a water crisis. As far as the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape is concerned, the crisis is already upon its inhabitants.
As a result of this crisis (and/or pending crisis in some areas), Pollex predicts that “new” laws - be it national, provincial or municipal by-laws* - regarding water-related issues, will escalate.
Pollex further predicts that the income from water supplies to the authorities, will decline which means that the authorities will have to look elsewhere to compensate for this deficiency. Accordingly, this compensation will most probably have to come from water-related fines (as have been implemented in Cape Town) and/or traffic fines, as well as the increase of tariffs in areas where the taps are still running.
As a result, Pollex appeals to all law enforcement agencies and its employees not to go overboard regarding both water- and traffic-related issues, by concentrating on (harmless) “soft targets” instead of concentration on (harmful) “hard targets”.
As far as water-related offences are concerned, see S v Mostert and Another 2010 (1) SACR 223 and 2010 (2) SA 586 (SCA) as discussed by Pollex in Servamus: August 2010. Also see “Water in the criminal law” in Ask Pollex in Servamus: April 2012.
This issue about water-related offences is not as straightforward as it appears. For example, in paragraph  of the Mostert judgment supra, the SCA states that “water flowing in a stream or river (of which the latter is a ‘water resource’ as envisaged by the National Water Act 36 of 1998) is NOT capable of being stolen and that 'theft of water' is NOT common law theft”.
On p491 of his Criminal Law, fifth edition as published by LexisNexis, the learned author Snyman holds the same view.
In the light of the preceding it is suggested that the same principle, namely that “theft of water” is not common law theft, apply likewise to tap and/or swimming pool water, bottled water and also water in some or other container.
According to the self-same para  of the Mostert judgment supra, the SCA states that for water-related offences, one has to look at statutory law (and not to the common law).
There are two national statutes that provide directly or indirectly for statutory water-related offences. (Please note that the emphasis added and words in square brackets are inserted by Pollex in respect of all references to legal provisions that follow.)
The first of the two national statutes is the Water Services Act 108 of 1997. Of importance is section 21 which provides as follows:
“21. Bylaws [note the spelling - no hyphen]*
(1) Every water services authority [namely a municipality - see word definition in section 1] must make bylaws* which contain conditions for the provision of water services [meaning water supply services and sanitation services - see word definition in section 1], and which must provide for at least -
(a) the standard of the services;
(b) the technical conditions of supply, including quality standards, units or 5 standards of measurement, the verification of meters, acceptable limits of error and procedures for the arbitration of disputes relating to the measurement of water services provided;
(c) the installation, alteration, operation, protection and inspection of water services works and consumer installations;
(d) the determination and structure of tariffs in accordance with section 10 [of Act 108 of 1997];
(e) the payment and collection of money due for the water services;
(f) the circumstances under which water services may be limited or discontinued and the procedure for such limitation or discontinuation; and
(g) the prevention of unlawful connections to water services works and the unlawful or wasteful use of water.”