Warning of potential lack of drinking water in Cape Town

Warning of potential lack of drinking water in Cape Town

Warning of potential lack of drinking water in Cape Town

If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called "Day Zero" - the last day of normal water supply - people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 U.S. gallons).

"Day Zero", when the reservoirs serving the town are expected to fall to just 13% of their capacity, has been pushed back several times from April to July.

Visitors to Cape Town in South Africa are being warned that drinking water might be restricted from July due to the prolonged drought, which has already led to water-saving measures being introduced across the city.

Neilson said that this week's lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland area's water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week and slightly increasing the dam levels, as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town's weekly average demand to 523 mega litres per day (MLD), compared to 1,130 MLD in 2014.

"In Khayelitsha, officers visited eight unregistered vehicle washes and all were fined for using municipal water", Cape Town Metropolitan Police Sergeant Ruth Solomons said.

According to the South African Weather Service, two of the driest seasons ever recorded for the city since observations started in 1921 happened in the last three years: In 2015 when 549 mm (21 inches) fell and last year - the driest year on record - when annual rainfall totalled 499 mm. "Therefore, it is imperative that we reach this target to make it through to the winter rains", said Neilson.

"The only way we can stretch our water supplies is to adhere to the 50 litres per person per day water allocation. Now is definitely not the time to ease up", the deputy mayor said. Our water saving efforts across the metro have thus far been our greatest defence against Day Zero.

City residents are encouraged to continue to limit water use to less than 50l per day to avoid Day Zero.

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