The dams are still dropping

Wind, hot weather leads to a decline in dam levels. Dam storage levels are at 36,8%, with useable water at 28,6%. Collective water usage is 582 million litres, therefore 82 million litres above the required level of 500 million litres per day.

Our dam levels have declined by 1% over the past week. This could be attributed to the high winds and hot weather which contributed to evaporation. We have managed to halve Cape Town’s water usage with the help of 51 percent of our water users who have put tremendous efforts into saving water.

We will only get through this crisis together. To make this partnership work even more effectively, I appeal to all water users, especially the 49% who are not saving water yet, to join us all as we escalate efforts to beat this drought. Your help is vital and we need you to come on board with Team Cape Town.

This summer with the heat and wind, we can expect a steady decline going forward, so continued savings are a must. We need to do more to bring our usage down, while at the same time pulling out all of the stops to ensure that we implement various projects for additional water supply to help see us through to winter 2018. Additional supply goes hand in hand with further savings.

We have looked at ways to fund a first-phase of water-supply projects by relooking at our spend across the city to see which non-water-related projects we can temporarily postpone while protecting funds for basic and emergency services.

Internally, we have made some tough decisions, and we will continue to do what is in the best interests of the people of Cape Town, no matter how difficult the challenge.

We will partly be funding our first seven additional water projects with this saving and reprioritised money, which comprises some R2 billion.

The first phase projects earmarked for these funds are the desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein, the V&A Waterfront, and Cape Town Harbour; the Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects; and the Zandvliet water recycling project make up the first seven emergency water projects of this phase.

Patricia de Lille is the Mayor of Cape Town.

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