Capetonians warned against stockpiling municipal water

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)

Johannesburg - The City of Cape Town has warned against stockpiling municipal water, adding that it could bring Day Zero closer again.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy Xanthea Limberg said stockpiling municipal water will prevent the City from stretching water supplies into the winter months and beyond.

"With the dams supplying the City of Cape Town critically low at 24,7% of capacity, we cannot afford any action that could jeopardise the little bit of water that we have left...The stockpiling of municipal water threatens our water-saving efforts and residents are urged not to engage in this practice," she said.

Users should use no more 50 litres per person per day, she added.

Day Zero is deemed as the day that taps will run dry for residents. Day Zero has now been pushed back to June 4, from May 11.

The delay in Day Zero has been attributed to the continued decline in agricultural usage and Capetonians reducing their water usage, said Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson.

READ: #DayZero pushed back to June, as drought declared a national disaster

Level 6b water restrictions have been in place since February 1, requiring Capetonians to reduce their daily use to 50 litres per person per day, or less.

"If you are using or stockpiling municipal water above your allocation, it is an illegal act and doing so will bring Day Zero closer again. This will also mean that you will pay hefty tariffs for high municipal water usage," Limberg warned.

Meanwhile, the national government has declared the drought affecting the southern and western areas of South Africa a national disaster.

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