Cape Water Crisis: Day Zero rushes forward by three weeks

2017-12-20 08:33 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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(iStock)

(iStock)

Cape Town - Cape Town's "Day Zero" has moved forward by three weeks following high water usage by residents over this past week.

Local and international tourists to Cape Town are advised to take note of this and practice water saving while visiting the province. See how you can save water here.

Last month 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 moved to 13 May 2018, however, it has now rushed forward to 29 April 2018. 

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: Day Zero 'moved' as city prepares for 2m tourists

According to the City, the total storage has fallen by 1.1% and as of this week, dam levels now stand at 33%. 

The City’s overall water usage rose to 641 million litres per day with only 34% of the residents saving water. Agricultural users also consumed water at a similar rate to the City.

"If water consumption continues to rise, together with the very hot windy conditions which increase evaporation losses, we can expect Day Zero to happen as soon as 18 March 2018," says the City’s Director of Water and Sanitation, Peter Flower. 

"This is a terrifying prospect. Residential customers remain the largest portion of water users. If we can bring consumption down to 500 million litres per day, we will be able to avoid Day Zero."

What is Day Zero?

Day Zero is the day that almost all of the taps in the city will be turned off and people will have to queue for water at approximately 200 sites across the peninsula. 

SEE: WATCH: This is what the City of Cape Town's plan is for Day Zero

Securing what's left of the city's water, the City says there will be a team working throughout the festive season to ensure that the average response time to leaks or burst pipes is under two hours and that it will maintain the advanced pressure management system that is limiting demand.

"We will also be rolling out an additional 40 000 water management devices from January onwards to high consumption households ignoring water restrictions," says the City. "We have already installed more than 21 000 water management devices on the properties of high users to date and this will continue [throughout] December."

Level 6 water restrictions

Level 6 water restrictions will come into effect from 1 January 2018 and all households who use more than 10.5 kilolitres per month will have a water management device fitted. 

Added to that, the City says as the province continues to see high temperatures, it is expecting to see dam levels falling much faster if residential and agricultural users continue to draw this much water from the dams.

SEE: Weather Update: Scorching 43°C hits Vredendal with a fire warning

"We’ve been lucky with extra rain and low evaporation so far, but the next few months will be brutally hot and there is almost no chance of rain," the City adds. 

NOTE: To view the City's dam dashboard click here.

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