#DayZero pushed out to May but Capetonians urged to continue saving water

2018-02-05 14:12
People queue to collect water from a natural spring outlet at South African Breweries. (AP)

People queue to collect water from a natural spring outlet at South African Breweries. (AP)

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Cape Town - Day Zero, the day residents may have to start queueing for water, is expected to move out to mid-May 2018 due to a decline in agricultural usage, deputy mayor Ian Neilson said in a statement on Monday.

However, he urged Capetonians to continue reducing consumption to avoid Day Zero.

"There has not been any significant decline in urban usage. All Capetonians must therefore continue to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies," said Neilson.

Day Zero is based on the previous week's daily consumption average of 547Ml/day. This is 97ml above the target of 450Ml.

The latest data from the City of Cape Town indicate that the City's progress in securing alternative water sources is at 62%.

However, from the seven projects which includes desalination, ground and recycled water, only one project - the V&A Waterfront desalination project is on schedule. The combined level of dams supplying the city is at 25.5% - down 0.8% from last week.

READ: City of Cape Town confident about safety of desalination plants

Neilson said that many of the agricultural users in the Western Cape Supply System, where the City also draws its water from, have used up the water allocated to them as per agreement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation.

“Agricultural usage is therefore likely to drop significantly over the next weeks. Currently, the agriculture sector is drawing about 30% of the water in the supply scheme. This should fall to approximately 15% in March and 10% in April,” he explained.

“It must be noted that the City does not have any control over agricultural releases, so this is the best estimate we can make with the information at hand.”

Neilson said emphasised that residents need to get consumption down to 450Ml per day to prevent the remaining water supplies running out before the arrival of winter rains.

“We cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come, or when it will come.”

Read more on:    ian neilson  |  cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis

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