Capetonians continue to save water

The drought has burdened Cape Town for much of the year, with long queues for spring water from collection points snaking around pavements. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

The drought has burdened Cape Town for much of the year, with long queues for spring water from collection points snaking around pavements. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Capetonians have made a “considerable achievement” in lowering water consumption even after the announcement that Day Zero will not be expected to reach the City until next year.

City of Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson said dams providing water to the City are now 21.8% full.

“Our collective consumption over the past week was 521-million litres of water per day, which indicates a stabilisation of consumption at lower levels than were being achieved in January and February,” Neilson said.

Residents in the city are still limited to just 50 litres of water per day under current water restrictions. Day Zero― the day when taps in the city dry, except for those in townships, emergency services and the central business district― has, however, been pushed back to 2019.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane earlier said that Day Zero would not be a threat to residents as long as they continue to abide by water restrictions. Neilson repeated that the 50l limit is still crucial.

“Dam levels are however, still lower than they were in previous years at this time and we have to continue our saving efforts to ensure that we get through this year safely,” Neilson said.

“Getting down to 50 litres per day is the only way to keep Day Zero away,” he said.

The drought has burdened Cape Town for much of the year, with long queues for spring water from collection points snaking around pavements. In recent weeks, the queues have not been as long, but water saving efforts have continued.

Neilson and the City of Cape Town leaders managing the response to the drought now believe that winter rains can help stave off Day Zero and any alarm it may bring to the city, but maintain that Capetonians will have to continue saving water for an indefinite period of time. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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