Water restrictions may be reviewed at a later stage - Neilson

2018-03-07 16:58
A man collects drinking water from taps that are fed by a spring in Newlands, in Cape Town. (File, Rodger Bosch, AFP)

A man collects drinking water from taps that are fed by a spring in Newlands, in Cape Town. (File, Rodger Bosch, AFP)

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Cape Town - Cape Town will not have Day Zero this year, but only if residents continue to save water, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Wednesday.

Maimane gave an update on the water crisis at a press briefing at the DA federal head office on Monday.

"Every week, water consumption has steadily declined and if we continue at this rate and receive rainfall, we can ensure that Day Zero will not occur," Maimane said.

"This means that the taps will remain open."

READ: Cape Town may avoid Day Zero this year - Maimane

Maimane was joined by MEC Anton Bredell, Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, Premier Helen Zille, Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson and mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water, waste services and energy Xanthea Limberg. 

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Neilson said the City of Cape Town projected that Day Zero would arrive on August 27, 2018 if there was no rainfall.

This date was not announced at the press briefing, nor was it reflected on the City's online dashboard.

"As this date falls deep within the normal rainfall period, it is no longer appropriate to project the date without any consideration of rainfall. Thus, provided we continue our current water saving efforts, Day Zero can be avoided completely this year. It is now up to all of us. If we keep on saving, we will not have to queue for water this year," he said in the statement.

Maimane thanked the drought water crisis team, water transfer service providers and farmers for their assistance in avoiding Day Zero.

"We are excited about the fact that the South African Weather Service has predicted heavy rains, but they predicted the same thing last year," said Zille.

"I am not blaming them, because we now know that climate change made it difficult to foresee. The only way we can avoid Day Zero is if Capetonians continue to save."

Neilson made it clear that level 6B water restrictions and punitive tariffs would remain in place, but would be reviewed at a later date.

ALSO READ: You could be drinking your neighbour's loo water - City of Cape Town may take water saving to another level

Neilson also explained the situation concerning the three desalination plants still under construction.

"We are still intending to put out tenders and contracts for a couple of large desalination plants that strengthen assurance in the diversity of water supply," said Neilson.

Neilson added in the statement that the City's dashboard for this week showed a slight increase in water consumption, bucking the recent downward trend over the last few weeks.

Consumption as at March 5 stood at 537 million litres per day, up from 516 the previous week.

Dam levels have dropped by 0,4% to 23,6%.

Read more on:    cape town  |  drought  |  water

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