​Day Zero pushed back from April 16 to May 11

Farmers are responsible for approximately 30% of the Western Cape water usage, and this is expected to fall to 15% by next month. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Farmers are responsible for approximately 30% of the Western Cape water usage, and this is expected to fall to 15% by next month. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Day Zero has been pushed back until May 11 because farmers in the province have used up their allocated supply, and this is expected to significantly reduce usage, the city of Cape Town said on Monday.

“Many of the agricultural users in the Western Cape Supply System, where the City also draws its water from, have used up the water allocated to them as per agreement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation,” mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said in a statement.

Farmers are responsible for approximately 30% of the Western Cape water usage, and this is expected to fall to 15% by next month, the city said.

“We need to get our consumption down to 450-million litres per day to prevent the remaining water supplies running out before the arrival of winter rains. We cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come, or when it will come,” Smith said.

The city said it had already reduced water usage from 1.1-billion litres a day to just under 600 million litres, but more saving was needed.

Meanwhile, the city has started reducing the pressure on the water system as it rolled out level 6B restrictions in February. This includes a tariff increase in the price of water.

“The tariffs remain based on usage. The more you use, the more you pay. High users will be hit especially hard,” Smith said.

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