NewsSouthern AfricaDrought-hit Cape Town cuts water useage as 'Day Zero' looms


Posted on Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:14

Drought-hit Cape Town cuts water useage as 'Day Zero' looms

By Reuters

In this Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 photo a woman throws away used water in an informal settlement near Cape Town. Photo: Bram Janssen/AP/SIPAA tough water-saving regime and the generosity of farmers have given South Africa's main tourist hub welcome respite from a severe drought and helped push back a dreaded "Day Zero" when Cape Town's taps are expected to run dry.

On Tuesday (February 20), the city of four million moved its estimate for "Day Zero" to July 9 from June 4 due to a decline in water usage, and after the Groenland farmers association also released 10 billion litres of water from their private reservoirs into the Steenbras storage dam.

Faced with severe water restrictions and punitive levies, residents of Cape Town have cut collective consumption by more than half in the last three years, as the city targets a daily consumption rate of no more than 450 million litres.

Innovative ways to manage crisis

At the moment, restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day, as city officials look to see out the hot summer months into winter, when Cape Town usually gets rain.

To ease the pressure, a local business man, Lesley Khumalo opened an eco-friendly car wash, which trades water for an eco-friendly chemical that can remove dirt, four weeks ago to attempt to educate locals on innovative ways to manage the crisis.

Shaheed Mohammed of the Water Crisis Coalition said that amid the crisis, the city is currently drilling into an aquifer near the dry Theewaterskloof dam that will supplement the needs of residents.

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