Cape Water Crisis: Cycle Tour to save 400k litres of water as 'Day Zero' moves forward

2018-01-17 14:30 - Unathi Nkanjei
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Cape Town - Cape Town's "Day Zero" moves forward by a day following high water usage by residents over this past week.

Last week the City of Cape Town's executive mayor, Patricia de Lille reported that due to the efforts of the City and the residents, Day Zero was set to take place on 22 April 2018, however, it has moved to 21 April 2018. 

The City says the only way Cape Town can avoid Day Zero is if every single resident saves water - but this is not the case.

During the past week, the City says that only 39% of Cape Town’s residents used less than 87 litres of water per person per day – compared to 54% during the first week of January. 

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: Cape Town water levy comment period extended

Cape Town’s average daily collective consumption is still too high as it has increased to 618 million litres per day, up from 578 million litres per day, according to the City. 

"For each day that Cape Town uses more than 500 million litres, the city moves closer to Day Zero," the City adds. 

Dam levels have dipped to 28.7% this past week – down by 1%. Only about 18.7% of this water is usable as the last 10% is difficult to abstract from the dams. 

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: Mother City paints the town green with new water map

The City says it has ramped up pressure management to drive down consumption – aiming to stretch its water supply past the winter rainy season. 

"We have identified 25 areas across the city that could benefit from this pressure management technology over the next three months, and contractors have been brought in to speed up the programme," says the City. 

SEE: WATCH: What is an aquifer and why is it important for the #CapeDrought?

Water levy

Following the extended call for public's comment on the proposed tax levy - also know as 'water tax' - the City says it is expected that the charge will be implemented from Thursday, 01 February 2018.

Last week, de Lille said the City needed money to pay for these projects and maintain the water reticulation system, hence it proposed a drought charge.

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: 'Wealthy tourists' are saving like locals

According to the City, the window for comment on the drought charge closed with 60 000 public comments. 

The drought charge will only affect 464 216 households, out of a total of 707 814 households, according to the City. Out of these, 52 510 households are "expected to pay more than R150 per month", while the "majority will pay less than R47 per month". 

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: How viable is a festive season 'water tax'?

Cape Cycle Tour to save up to 400 000 litres of water 

From a #WatershedWednesday poem to a Bloemfontein hotel offering water to guests, now the city's own Cycle Tour has announced that it is working around the clock to ensure that it protects water conservation efforts in the Western Cape by taking the event off the municipal water grid.

In an interview with Cape Talk, Dave Bellairs of the Cycle Tour Trust says when planning began for the March 2018 event, water was top of the agenda.

He explains that by taking the event off the grid, the municipality will save between 300 000 and 400 000 litres of water. 

Bellairs says they are exploring a variety of options including bringing in water from outside of the province to supplement water usage for ice on route and also using desalinated water for washing, toilets and showering.

"It's our intention for 2018 to ensure that we are pretty much completely off the municipal grid and municipal potable water altogether," says Bellairs. 

Event info

Where: Streets of Cape Town

When: 11 March 2018


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