Holidaymaking Capetonians help save city's water

Cape Town - The outflow of Cape Town residents going on holiday over the festive season also plays a role in stabilising water consumption over peak tourist season, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Xanthea Limberg told Fin24 on Friday.

Fin24 asked the City for comment after Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy said earlier last week that it is good to see that water consumption in the Mother City remained the same despite increased numbers of tourists in December.

He thanked all visitors to the Mother City for their water-saving efforts. There have even been reports of some tourists bringing their own water along from their home towns.

"The City’s experience is that the outflow of residents going on holiday also plays a role in stabilising water consumption over peak tourist season. However, we are also pleased that, since mid-December, water consumption has dipped below 600 million litres, and remained there, and are thankful to the tourists who made the effort to save water," said Limberg.

"We would also like to extend our thanks to FEDHASA (the national trade association for the hospitality industry), Uber and AirBnB, as well as other role players in the sector who have acted as ambassadors for water conservation during these challenging times."

Initial reports on the December 2017 peak tourism month show high growth in international arrivals, and an increase in visitors to regions across the Western Cape, according to the Western Cape tourism and investment promotion agency (Wesgro).

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) at Cape Town International Airport registered 127 309 international arrivals for December 2017 - an 11.5% increase compared to December 2016.
Domestic arrivals by air dipped slightly by 2.2% to 389 324. Wesgro is of the view this could be because many domestic tourists travelled to the province by land. Official statistics will only be released at a later date by Statistics SA.

In Limberg's view, partnerships are what is needed in the days ahead as the city moves closer to 22 April 2018 – Day Zero.

"Partnerships can help to spread the message that we can avoid Day Zero if we save water drastically now," said Limberg.

"In order to avoid Day Zero, however, it is absolutely crucial that each and every resident ensure they use less than 87 litres per day, and that total consumption falls below 500 million litres per day."

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