No Day Zero for 2019 – City of Cape Town

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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)

The City of Cape Town has announced that the dreaded Day Zero - the day when most of the taps will be turned off – will not happen in 2018 or 2019.

Executive deputy mayor Alderman Ian Neilson said on Thursday that dam levels have risen consistently over the last six weeks and the City is already in a much stronger position than it was at the end of winter last year.

News24 reported this week that recent winter rains had pushed the overall level of the City of Cape Town's supply dams up to 42.7% full on Monday - higher than it was for the same period in 2017 or 2016.

"Provided that adequate water restrictions are maintained, the City is confident that there will be no prospect of reaching Day Zero in 2019," Neilson announced.

The City has managed to avoid Day Zero in 2018 and is confident it will safely get through summer in 2019. "This is due to the amount of water already in the dams, our intense water demand management programmes, our unrelenting communication, awareness and behavioural change it has effected over the past two years, as well as the continued support and sacrifice of Team Cape Town," he said.

The drought, however, is still ongoing, and the City also announced that its stringent water restrictions are to be maintained.

"While we hope to reduce the current water restrictions in the near future, and the tariffs associated with them, this decision is dependent on national government relaxing restrictions on releases from the water supply system," Neilson said.

This means that the level 6B water restrictions, which has been in effect since January, will remain in place.

Under the 6B restrictions, water consumption was limited to 50l per person per day in the hope that Day Zero - the day the taps will be closed - can be avoided.



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