Cape Town uses more water even as dam levels are little changed

Water usage in Cape Town surged 6.7% over the past week even as storage in dams supplying the city barely increased.

Consumption rose to 554 million liters per day in the week until May 14 from 519 million liters the week before, the city said in an emailed statement.

That’s almost 20% more than the daily usage target set by the national Department of Water and Sanitation. Total storage rose to 21.4% from 20.9%, the city said.

Dam levels have dropped from close to 40% in October as the worst drought on record depleted reserves. The water crisis in the Western Cape province has hit farming exports and house prices and may affect lending to the agriculture sector, the Reserve Bank said in March.

Residents of Cape Town are being restricted to using 50 liters of water each a day and told to take 90-second showers. As usage declined, the city removed for this year the threat of a “Day Zero” when it would turn off the taps.

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