Friday, 16 November, 2018

Cape Town 'day zero' water crisis will not happen in 2018: Maimane

Cape Town 'day zero' water crisis will not happen in 2018: Maimane Cape Town 'day zero' water crisis will not happen in 2018: Maimane
Melinda Barton | 08 March, 2018, 04:46

Cape Town's municipal water supply is unlikely to run out in 2018 if the city's current consumption rates remain steady and rainfall this winter mirrors the amount that fell in 2017, South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA) party has said.

Cape Town will not have to turn off water supplies after all if current consumption levels are maintained, the region's governing party has said.

"While we are feeling more confident of avoiding Day Zero this year, we can not predict the volume of rainfall still to come", Nielson said.

More than half of the the city's water comes from a reservoir at the Theewaterskloof Dam, but water levels have dropped severely due to the drought. If Day Zero arrives, the city would be the world's first metropolis to run out of water.

The latest data from the city shows that its six feeder dams were on average 23.5 per cent full as of March 3rd.

Cape Town has been going through one of the worst droughts in its history.

On Monday, officials urged residents to keep saving drinking water, because despite the good progress there were real concerns about the future availability of the increasingly precious resource.

"I want to reiterate, and cannot stress enough, that we need to keep at current consumptions levels until at least after the winter rainfall", he said.

But officials are cautioning residents to not let up on their conservation efforts and hope the new habits will stay in place as rainfall levels are still uncertain this year, making it possible for another "Day Zero" scare next year.

Capetonians must continue to use less than 50 litres of water per day in line with Level 6B water restrictions so that Day Zero can be defeated in its entirety, Maimane said. As the climate and rainfall patterns are changing, so too is our approach to water security in the city.

The City of Cape Town will continue to play its part - under the guidance of Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson and MMC Xanthea Limberg - in building a long-term water resilient city.

Maimane said the aim was to increase augmentation projects to provide an additional 300 million litres by 2020.

"While we are happy that Day Zero now appears to have been averted, people should realise that the current drought is by no means over", Rabie said.

Should the day come, most of the city's taps will be turned off, and around 20,000 residents would have to queue for water and be subjected to a strict rationing system.