#DayZero: Expect a planned drop in water pressure soon - Maimane

2018-01-30 17:17
DA leader Mmusi Maimane telling Cape Town residents that they should expect a drop in water pressure in the coming weeks. (Paul Herman, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane telling Cape Town residents that they should expect a drop in water pressure in the coming weeks. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has asked City of Cape Town residents not to panic if they experience a drop in water pressure in the coming weeks.

Residents heard on Tuesday that their response to the imminent arrival of Day Zero has pushed the date back by four days, from April 12 to April 16.

- Read more: New Day Zero date as Cape Town residents fight back

Maimane said the priority message now was for citizens to expect a significant reduction in water pressure in the coming weeks in high-use areas.

The number of areas affected would also be expanded.

"This means that residents will start to experience a noticeable drop in pressure for most of the day, and those in high-lying areas and in apartment blocks may have water service interruption for several hours at a time," he said at the party's Cape Town offices on Tuesday.

"People should not be alarmed or panic when this happens, and should plan accordingly. This is the planned pressure reduction programme being implemented by the City to reduce consumption."

Maimane called on residents not to "hoard" municipal water due to panic.

PICS: Cape Town residents scramble to buy bottled water at shops

"Panic and hysteria is not helpful to the effort to Defeat Day Zero. It actually increases consumption and so is counter-productive.

"If we are clear about what we need to do, and committed to doing it, then we absolutely can Defeat Day Zero altogether."

All residents, community and religious leaders, and the media had a role to play to not contribute to panic and confusion, Maimane said.

He acknowledged that communication about the City's plans had been "poor" over the past few months, but promised it would be better going forward.

Cape Town still 90ML short of target

Maimane thanked residents for their massive efforts and encouraged the city to keep going to defeat Day Zero.

"This is crucial progress, and I offer my thanks and congratulations to all residents who have joined in this campaign to Defeat Day Zero with such commitment."

The City of Cape Town has improved its usage levels to 540 million litres a day for the past few days, down from 580 million litres for the previous week ending last Monday.

Dam levels also dropped 0.9% in the week until Monday, compared to 1.4% the previous week.

The target from February 1 will be a total 450 million litres a day.

Maimane acknowledged that the four extra days "may seem small", in comparison to the task at hand, but it showed what one "significant" week of saving could do.

#DayZero: Capetonians way off usage target as dam levels drop further

The threat of Day Zero, which is an increasing reality for Cape Town, is gaining ground, according to data on the latest dam levels.

"It shows that residents are coming together and cutting water consumption. If we can save more in the weeks ahead, we can keep pushing back Day Zero by weeks."

He hoped citizens would now take seriously the call to not use more than 50 litres a day from February 1, as it would buy time until the City's augmentation projects kicked in in full.

Additional 67 litres secured

Maimane also announced that the City had secured an additional 67 million litres a day for a period of approximately 60 days, starting from early February.

The target had initially been an extra 120 million litres by May.

"But now, more than half will be available from early February. This water will be transferred from the Palmiet-Kogelberg dam, which has had excellent rainfall and is full.

"This has been a collaborative effort from the farming community of the Elgin-Grabouw valley and the City of Cape Town and we are extremely grateful for their efforts."

In terms of its groundwater projects, drilling on the Cape Flats aquifer had been accelerated.

Maimane thanked the various faith-based groups for their prayers and efforts, and called on the city to continue saving.

"We have shown this week that we can do it. We’ve brought down consumption, and we’ve pushed back Day Zero. If we continue to cut consumption more, we can Defeat Day Zero altogether."

Deputy mayor Ian Nielson, who now has control over the City's efforts to fight Day Zero, repeated that the city's three desalination plants should be operational by May.

Residents should not expect to see any activity immediately, but the three sites were on course to begin augmentation by the desired deadlines.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  drought  |  water crisis

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